Saturday, July 11, 2009

Drum Therapy for the Soul


These are some new and exciting words in my vocabulary.

In my construction of a (ahem) new life, I have uncovered many things that even I did not know were there...and, obviously, other people didn't know they existed either...playing percussion...backup singing....and now drumming. The drumming just sort of happened....I think. I had intended to pick up guitar lessons again, but for some reason, I couldn't get my head around that...not yet anyway.

But first, a little background.

My childhood saw me as a typical little girl, but shy...horribly shy. I only spoke when spoken to, and even then it was minimal conversation. In that world of shyness, I took refuge in the world of toys, and though I really enjoyed Barbie dolls, I really wanted to play with some of the boy's toys toy forts and garages.

I also wanted to play with drums.

When I moved to The Cottage, I saw an ad for Drum Lessons in the local paper. I was curious. This was my opportunity. My kick at the can. So, I called and we agreed on a time for an intro lesson. As the day grew closer, I became more and more excited.....and a bit nervous, as you can well imagine.

The house where the lessons take place is an old mansion turned into apartments. There are 3 levels to the home. The drummer and his family live on the top floor, while the bottom floor is rented out (I know this, because I was welcomed by one of the tenants (in his bathrobe) who advised me to try upstairs for the music guy (eeeek). So off I went to try and find Drummer Bob.

At the very top of the house is the attic...which is also where the magic happens. Here, there are vintage drums and drum kits, some of which were purchased at yard sales. The teaching area is set up with one set for the teacher (a $10,000 set of beauties) and the student set (beat up, toned down, but still quite appropriate for learning). The walls and slanted ceiling are covered with LPs, pictures, posters, and other memorabilia from Drummer Bob's career (he has travelled extensively and has played with David Usher and Honeymoon Suite).

After an introduction to the teacher, the instrument and technique, I sat for the very first time behind a drum kit....right foot settled firmly on the bass, left foot settled on the Highhats.....and 2 very nervous hands gripping the sticks.

Then it all came together.....repetitious and rhythmic whacking, hitting, slamming, all with the intent of uncovering which limbs provide the most power....and then to have each limb work independently, and vary that power (think it's easy? Try it...).

What also resulted was a tremendous feeling of release....release of all those bad feelings, stress, everything. It all came whooshing out of me and placed itself onto the snare skin. I was rejuvenated. I felt liberated.

I felt at peace in this new-found toy.


*drum icon courtesy of CafePress*


Jeni said...

My son-in-law has a set of drums -keeps them set up at my son's house though, as we don't have enough space for them here. But the neat thing is with Maya and how she seems to have an innate ability with respect to drums. Even when she was still a baby, just under a year old, she would sit in her high chair and Bill would tap something out -a rhythm of sorts, on the table and she would try to imitate him -often doing a really good job of that too! Whenever he goes up to my son's to play around on the drums and if he takes Maya along, she sits up there, sticks in hand and can do a mean job of drumming away! Just one of the many things about my little granddaughter that never ceases to amaze me!
Keep playing around with them Mau and how knows, maybe you will be a really top-notch drummer some day!

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, my best friend's brother played drums (the whole family was very musical). I was scared of the drums, but they were fascinating at the same time. I've always had a bit of an obsession with them since then, though, I've never come close to trying to play them myself.