No, that’s not a typo. I am seriously addicted to drumming and that’s after only one lesson. If you read my last post about drumming back in July, you will know that it is Colleen’s fault, so you can blame her if my future posts become one-dimensional and boring for all those non-drummers among you.
I had my first drumming lesson last Tuesday and I was hooked from my first “bang”. I was more than a little apprehensive on the way over to my lesson and started to wonder what on earth I was doing at 50 years old to start drumming. I tried not to think about it too much, knowing that if I did, I was in danger of doing a U-turn and returning home. Apart from the purported health benefits of learning to drum, taking the step to arrange a lesson and start something new is, for me, more a challenge to my low confidence and desire to stay at home safe and secure talking to my hubby and cats rather than get out and enjoy learning a new skill and, shock horror, meeting new people.
I have to constantly challenge myself to do things and meet people otherwise I would withdraw both at home and at work and that is not healthy. Most people don’t notice that this is a daily struggle for me as I have become extremely proficient at acting my way through the day but I keep trying to increase my confidence and create a more positive attitude by doing things rather than staying put.
I arrived for my lesson in good time, and was incredibly lucky that Nick made me feel at ease straight away. I sat behind the drum set, learned what each drum and cymbal is called, how to hold the drum sticks and to my biggest surprise, learned that drums have “music”.
Thinking about it now, I don’t know how I thought people learned to play the drums without music but I assumed that being a percussion instrument with no “notes”, no music would be needed! How wrong I was, but I was pleased to find out that my previous musical experiences have not been wasted. Whilst there are no “musical notes” as such, the notes in drum music represent the beats and which drum/cymbal you strike, with which hand. Easy!
All I have to do now is work both hands and feet in a set order as per the music and I will have it licked! Easier said than done of course and I found out quite quickly that the connections between brain and hands/feet are not so responsive as they should be……not bad but plenty of scope for improvement.
The hour flew by and I was so disappointed when it came to an end. Nick asked me whether I would be coming again (try keeping me away) and when I said yes, he told me which drum sticks and music book I will need for my future lessons and practice.
I had actually progressed quite a long way in my first lesson, my previous experience with piano, clarinet and guitar clearly helping with reading the music and keeping the rhythm going. I felt pleased with myself for making the effort, enjoying the experience and there is no doubt that drumming had definitely made me feel good about myself without expending too much physical energy. This is important when fighting M.E/ CFS and if this continues, I would recommend that everyone should try it! Here is a link to an article giving you ten reasons why drumming is good for your health 🙂
If you struggle with loud noises you can be comforted that when learning to play, the drums are covered in foam to reduce the noise effectively, and if you want a drum set at home, you can get an electronic set which has headphones and volume control.