Drums? Why not?

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 4:30 PM | comments: 0

The other day, someone posted a for-sale of some electronic drums. I thought, "Cool, that would be fun to try," and then I forgot about it. Then after watching YouTube videos of live music and a mojito, I remembered the ad, contacted the seller, and talked them down to $300 (the kit is about $400 new with tax). Yay for ridiculous spontaneous purchases!

Really though, I've been thinking about this for awhile. I've tried unsuccessfully many times in my life to try and learn a string instrument (guitar, ukulele), and given up quickly because I just find the fingering to be intolerably difficult. Pianos might have a fighting chance, but I don't feel like you can do that well without learning to read music, which I found difficult even in my junior high trumpet days. Drums seemed like a good idea for a number of reasons. It's very physical and super tactile, and I like that. There is music to read, and the timing still confuses me, but I can figure it out. An acoustic kit is costly, but this electronic stuff isn't terrible. I know going in that I will struggle with two things: Learning to be a human metronome, and incorporating a third limb to play. But it's repetitive and structured, and my brain can usually grok that sort of thing. I am not naive, I know it's not going to come to me instantly.

The YouTube is full of people trying to teach you to play, so there's no shortage of material. They all suggest the same first fundamental beat, and on day two, I can settle into a groove and do it, but it's not even remotely natural. If I try to switch it up, like hit the crash on the first note, I can't go into the pattern. To be fair to myself, I've probably only spent a combined hour in the seat, so I might get somewhere when it's four hours, or ten.

What's funny is that in just two days I hear drums in music in a way I never did before. It's wild. I don't make the leap to, "Hey, I could play that," but I do hear the structure.

I hope that I can stick with it. Diana of course has a weird sense of music and picks things up quickly, so she'll likely learn faster than me. Simon I'm not sure about. He's interested, but I don't know if he'll watch any of the lessons and try to follow them.


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