Step Changing My Drumming

February 17th, 2012

I was back in the UK the other week and had a lesson with Pat Garvey. Other than some sound advice on practice methods, we had a great talk that really challenged me to make a step change in my drumming.

I have been thinking about the lesson and feel that I need to leave my structured learning and focus more on just enjoying playing the drums. This includes getting out more and playing with other musicians and to beginning to find who I am as a drummer. I'm thinking I should be playing more to my favorite tracks, putting more passion into my playing, and sing out loud as I drum :lalala: forgive me world :crazy: I have to become a musician, not just a lover of music.

I've a load more ideas but just do not know were to start. So for the next while I'm going to pleasure myself with my music and do the things I want to do... play a long to Queen Innuendo album and not care as along as it's in time, musical, and fun. There are lots of old albums from back in the day that I want to play along to but I've never done so because I focused on "learning the songs". Now I just want to play along with them, sometimes it will be good sometimes not so good.

Oh btw, my singles have improved, 130 bpm for 5mins which I am really pleased about :)

There and back

January 24th, 2012

I have some good news... Last week we got the email which told us that our applications for permanent residency in Canada had been approved :D

They requested we mail them our passports, but as I am due to fly back to the uk we decided to tavel to Canadian Consulate in Buffalo in person and "land" in Canada on the way back. We have been waiting 3 years for this so we really wanted it over and done with as soon as possible.

So the crazy trip started on Wednesday afternoon with a flight from Calgary to Toronto and then a 2 hrs drive over the US boarder to Buffalo. The following morning we went to the Canadian Consulate that has been dealing with our applicaion to get our papers and things stamped. When we arrived there was about 40 people ahead of us :roll: I thought we would be there for hours but no... 1 and 1/2 hrs later we were back on the road crossing the boarder and "landing" in Canada :D Then it was a drive back to the airport and a flight to Calgary for a skiing weekend to Golden BC with some friends. So in the space of a day we flew from one end of Canada to the other and drove miles. Oh and to top it all... I had Tosillitis :crazy::crazy:

This photo is of the Kicking Horse mountain from our hotel in Golden...

Golden BC

First Auditions for 2012

January 6th, 2012

Its 2012 and I had a great audition for a local Calgary band called Resurrection Joe the other night.

It went really well from my perspective, but I'm not sure that I'm what they need for a drummer. They are all very accomplished musicians and it might be a bit of a big step for me.

But for me, I'm really pleased with how it went. A couple of things came out of it... my ability to jam along is getting much better and my learning of the songs is becoming better too. I was also less nervous than I've been in situations like this before. I think it was down to being prepared. I had spent time learning the songs, which were hard technically and enjoyable as I really like the songs. But I've got to keep working on my fills, speed around the kit, and become more creative. So I'm thinking that I will need to start looking learning and pushing myself to learn more complex grooves.

I asked for some feedback from Resurrection Joe after the audition and got some really nice and useful advice... "I felt that your playing style was too mechanical. I would recommend trying to spend a little more energy on playing from the heart and give the amazing drummer that I know is in there, a chance to run with the ball......"

So going into 2012 I am pleased with were I am but I need to continue to raise the bar where my practice is concerned. Its been four years since I stated drumming and 3 years seriously. I've done 1,920 hours done on my 10,000 hours of excellence (19%).

I need to spend a little more time on looking at practice areas for the coming year... sticking with the basics, singles doubles, paradiddles, independence work, and jazz. Also, I think I need to add groove studies and maybe work throughout my BIMM Diploma book.

Holiday in Vancouver and Whistler

December 20th, 2011

We have just had a couple of weeks holiday :D We went to Vancouver to visit some friends and then on to Whislter skiing.

We last visited Vancouver 10 years ago and downtown has really changed. We went for a walk on the waterfront around where we stayed last time, and were amazed at the changes. Here are a couple of pictures. I really love the one of the pixalated Orca.

pixel orca Vancouver

The winter Olimpic flame Vancouver

While we were there we took a visit to The Capilano Suspension Bridge which is just on the north shore of Vancouver and really nice place to visit.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge

I also saw a eagle which was really cool.

A eagle over the The Capilano Suspension Bridge

Following Vancouver we drove up yo Whistler for a couple of days to do some skiing, we stayed at the Pan Pacific which is my favorite hotel in the world.

Danny in hot tub in whistler

Here a video of Dave doing the Terrain Park

Looking at 16th Note Triplets

November 28th, 2011

So I've began to look at Sixteenth Note Triplets or sextuplets. I'm looking at two tracks that use them - Day Tripper by the Beatles, and Don't look back in Anger by Oasis from their best album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? The Oasis track is one of my favorite tracks and I feel that I am now ready to learn it, so for the next couple of weeks I'm putting my other practice aside to work on these two songs and to look at 16th note triplets.

I asked myself how to count them and looked on the internet. There are a number of ways you can count them... 1 2 3 4 5 6, or 1 triplet and triplet 2 triplet and triplet, or 1 e a and e a 2 e a and e a, etc. Also some drummers just feel them, suggesting "Duggadaduggada"

I found this lesson on the Vic Firth site and started to use the exercise sheet.

I've found a number of uses for the 16th note triplets. I like RLRLFF, Right Left Right Left Foot Foot, you can use this on the kit for creating simple yet affective fills.

Learning Don't Look Back in Anger has been challenging so far. I've had to use all the things I've learned about breaking a song down and simplifying it before building it up agin. But it's been really fun to do it B)

Getting 16th note triplets up to a useful speed is a goal for next year but I will continue to work on them:!: