I have identified as a drummer longer than almost any other attribute that I have. My first drum kit was a Christmas present when I was four and it has been a downhill run ever since. Drumming really began piquing my interests about 11 years ago though and that's when I started taking it seriously. Before that, I had tried to learn guitar because I wanted to impress people and I had tried to learn piano for no real reason at all, but I stuck with drumming because it felt so natural and instinctive; it was just fun. In past posts, I have touched on some of my dealings in music these days, but today I will undertake the reason that I call this blog Run and Drum. The two activities are inextricably linked for me.
One of the things that pushed me into running was an article in DRUM! magazine several years ago that talked about how the health benefits of running can help you be a better drummer in terms of endurance, muscle tone, pace, and all kinds of linkages. That sounded great to me and it still does. I find a lot of the things I choose to do are because they will help me progress as a drummer and as a musician. I want to learn guitar now, not to impress people, but because having that understanding of another instrument and another music making process will help me be more in tune with the people I play music with when I drum. Recording music and audio grew from the desire to hear my drumming more objectively to better evaluate what sounded good, what sounded clean, and where I need to improve. My point is that drumming has been at the heart of who I am and what I choose to do since I was 11 or 12. That is why I run and drum.
Recently, I have found myself at a plateau. I don't feel like my drumming has been progressing very much and so I've been trying to kickstart my learning again. I lost a good chunk of time in college because living in dorms and apartments separated me from my drumset and created a pretty serious obstacle to practicing, but I think I have at least gained back the form, speed, and technique that may have atrophied in that time. I found my creativity never waned much behind the kit and I think that has something to do with the fact that I am always tapping on stuff and working out how I would apply a drum part to anything I hear whether it;s bad pop music or a turn signal. What I have decided to do for the time being, though, is to go back to the basics.
I found the book that I bought when I first started taking drum lessons in fourth grade so I figured, what better way to go forwards than to make my foundation as solid as possible? It has already helped me get back into reading music and rhythms as well as shown me a few places I need to work on, specifically my left foot independence. I want to use this as a springboard and get into a polyrhythm book at some point soon. If you have any suggestions or thoughts about getting better at drumming or anything for that matter, I'd love to hear from you. Also, if you would like to hear some of my drumming, I played drums on this demo and I recorded/edited it.