Fleur the Kiwi
It’s not easy to maintain the basic rock beat in time for a whole song. At my fourth lesson, last Thursday night, my instructor recorded me playing along to a light instrumental track. For about thirty seconds near the start I kept good time; the rest was pretty much a mess.
I had practiced quite a bit in the two weeks since my last lesson and was feeling pretty good – I’m starting to get the feel of how to hold (and wield!) the sticks and was developing a good rhythm with the five beats and three fills that I’ve been given to practice so far. And I had that first basic rock beat down. Or so I thought.
We saw The Who in Oakland on Friday night. The opening band, Vintage Trouble – who were fantastic; stay tuned for more about them in coming weeks from us! – did a meet and greet after their half-hour set. As we were shaking hands, I told the drummer, Richard Danielson, that I was learning to play and had spent much of the time watching him. Among the many helpful and encouraging things he told me was that the periods when you’re most discouraged are your most fertile learning periods. Behind the fumbling and seeming incompetence, your brain and your body are sorting it all out and it’s just a matter of time (that word and concept that are the foundation of drumming) before you leap to a new level.
I’m hanging on to that today.
My instructor sent me the track I played along to in two forms, with drums and without, so I can practice accompanying the other musicians. It’s hard to hear whether you’re in time or not when you’re playing … that’s part of the challenge.
For now, the metronome app is my new best friend.