One night I was practicing on my small acoustic drum kit. My wife had to go out and I thought this would be a good time to work on the acoustic kit.
Normally I would use my electronic kit for practice and do my rudiments on the rubber pad that lies on top of my snare drum.
Even though my wife tells me that practicing on my acoustic kit doesn’t bother her I don’t like doing it when she is home. I don’t like that she may be sitting upstairs watching TV or talking on the phone and I am downstairs banging away.
Sometime when I come upstairs after a practice session she still has the TV volume turned way up so I know it must bother her just a bit. But she would never say anything to stifle me or stop me from playing.
When I was supposed to play the bowling alley gig, the one that fell through the night before the gig, I setup my gigging kit (my Pearl Session Studio Classic kit) and played them just to make sure they were tuned. I wanted to get the setup right and get the feel of them since I hadn’t gigged in over one year.
After I had them setup I couldn’t stop looking at them. They looked so nice and sounded so great. I realized how much I missed them.
When the aforementioned gig fell through I told my wife that my disappointment wasn’t missing out on a gig in a bowling alley. Honestly I expected the gig to be somewhat of a train wreck.
I wasn’t disappointed with not making the gig money since I learned years ago in this business you never count your chickens before they are hatched.
My disappointment was I wouldn’t get to play my kit.
The electronic kit is great for practice and it works great for working out songs prior to recording. Some of the sampled sounds work great when recording. But it’s a whole different animal than the acoustic kit.
There is a feel you just don’t get with the electronic kit. Both in stick response and the sound waves that travel through the air and strike your body as you play.
Rubber cymbals and a ten inch and eight inch drum pad just aren’t the same as bronze and a fourteen inch snare rim.
You start to develop different techniques with an electronic kit. I need to make sure I keep practicing on both kits and make sure I don’t develop any bad habits with the electronic kit that would hinder my playing the acoustic kit.
I also need to make some room and setup my Pearls along with my two vintage Slingerland kits. Having my Pearls in cases sitting and waiting to be used for a gig is like buying a new car that you only drive on Sundays when the temperature is between 60 and 75. It’s a waste of a fine piece of machinery.
I need to balance practicing on my acoustic kit and my wife’s sanity.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.