Temper Stroking Myself

Temper Stroking Myself

Over the past few weeks I have been working on a couple of different songs.

Some were complete.  Some had all the tracks I thought I needed less any vocal tracks.  Some were just basic rhythm tracks that needed more instrument tracks plus I needed to come up with some lyrics and a melody.

So I got into the habit of listening to my own stuff while traveling back and forth to work or just traveling around town.  I was even listening to my own stuff when I was lying in bed falling asleep.

Usually those listening times are when I just put my iTunes in shuffle mode and listen to whatever comes up next.  But for almost two weeks all I was listening to was my work.  I was critiquing what I did, trying to determine if it needed more tracks and trying to come up with a melody. Continue reading

I Miss My Acoustic Kit

I Miss My Acoustic Kit

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. Continue reading

If You Can Count It, You Can Play It

If You Can Count It, You Can Play It

One of the basic lessons I learned when I was taking drum lessons was how to count time.

I learned the basic 1,2,3,4  for quarter notes, 1N,2N,3N,4N for eighth notes , 1ENA, 2ENA, 3ENA, 4ENA for sixteenth notes and 1NA,2NA, 3NA, 4NA for eighth note triplets.

My teacher would say, “If you can count it, you can play it.

This is true.

I play predominantly by feel.  I can read music but it’s been so long since I had to that it takes my brain too long to process what I’m reading into my hands.  I should practice it more but there are just so many things you can work on in such limited time.  Once I finally translate the notes on the page into a feel I forget about the written notes and only use it to reference where I am in the song.

For years just about every song I ever learned I learned by simply listening to it to get the feel and then the arrangement which generally changed when the band covered it.

Recently one of the songs I had to learn for a band had a very syncopated rhythm. Continue reading

I Can’t Dance – Unless I’m Behind A Kit

I Can’t Dance – Unless I’m Behind A Kit

The other night I had another life affirming moment.

I was flipping through the TV channels and as usual there was nothing of interest on any station.  So as is customary I go all the way up to channel 369 which is Palladia and then work my way back down.

Now it was after 10:00 PM so I was really just killing time and winding down from the day.  I really wasn’t looking for anything in particular other than a quick and interesting snippet of a show.

Palladia was airing a Rush documentary. Continue reading