Today was the first Thursday that I decided to devote entirely to drumming and I would say that I was approximately 40-45% successful in that endeavor. I briefly mentioned this is my last post, but I’ll elaborate a bit more in this one. I want to take this goal of becoming a great drummer more seriously and I think that an excellent way to do that is to make the same commitment that I would to my job. Every Thursday from 9 AM to 5 PM I want to expand my skills, rehearse numbers and learn new ones, breaking only briefly for lunch, snacks, or a little stretch. It’s a full day of hitting the skins, reading sheet music, instructional manuals and watching supplemental videos when needed. I have more than enough to fill the time allotted, I just need to show up to work.
This morning I began later than I would have liked, because of some previous commitments. If this had been me a year ago – I kid you not – I would have talked myself out of working for the entire day simply because of a missed start time. At least now I can accept that plans may change and move forward. I’m making a conscious effort to improve and that’s what counts.
I began by working on my technique, the usual tasks – practicing rolls, paradiddles, whatever. I really try my hardest not to look at the clock when I’m working, but after 30 minutes I gave in and was quite surprised that I had many more rudiments ahead and the day had hardly begun. After that the “funk” cycle came into full swing; this, of course, is the part of my rehearsal where I think about how much money I could get if I sold my kit, or how much more free time I would have if I gave up trying to learn drums (to do what I couldn’t tell you).
I know that my biggest obstacle is me. I’m really developing discipline but I have this nagging negativity I need to shake off. During a drum technique workshop with Juice a couple of months ago, my bandmate had to tell me to accept where my skillset was because he could see that I was getting upset that I could not complete the exercises. Hello, my name is Cassandra Monzon and I am a perfectionist who expects immediate results.
There were a couple other notable things that happened during my “independent study” today:
- I attempted to play the beginning of Radiohead’s “Creep” on my kit. It’s a fairly basic rock song but it calls for the bass drum to be played three notes in succession. I have very poor drum pedal technique (thank you Rock Band). I leave the beater against the bass drum in between hits, which is a definite no-no. I’ve concluded that I will inevitably cause more harm than good if I continue in that vein, so until I improve (which is a ways away) I will stay away from my kit for now.
- Whilst playing said kit, I realized that it is not complete, as I had previously thought. I purchased a used crash cymbal a few weeks ago, because I was sure that it was the last piece I needed. I discovered today that I already have a crash! Yes, some drummers use two and this will likely be a good investment down the road, but I still don’t have a ride cymbal. A RIDE CYMBAL! Oh, the humanity.
- When updating my computer earlier today I deleted Audacity and then realized afterwards that I use that program to record audio for the blog (though it’s honestly been months since the last time I shared something). Looks like I’ll have to add it again to my laptop so I can include some etudes in the near future.
That’ll do it for my little summary. I’m not working tomorrow and I’d like to make up for some of the hours I lost today, so you may see another post here sooner rather than later.
Enjoy this jam from the Passions!
PS. I’ve updated the blog with “Best Albums of 2011“. There isn’t much listed, since I haven’t really been listening to a lot of new stuff but that section should be bulked up with more soon.