Remember the childhood game of trying to pat your head with one hand while the other hand rubs your belly? Pat, rub, pat, rub. It’s hard! Our brains don’t want our hands doing two different motions at the same time. Now, add in both feet tapping at different beats. It’s enough to put your brain into total flubbed mode. Well, that’s how I feel playing the drums. I might as well sit there patting my head and rubbing my belly. It’s so hard! The good news is, concentrating on patting your head and rubbing your belly is actually a good brain exercise to increase communication between the hemispheres of the brain. And, guess what! Drumming works our brains in the same way – accessing both sides at the same time. So, while I feel like a fool trying to coordinate my hand and foot movements, I’m actually giving my brain a good workout and, perhaps, someday my brain will be strong enough to coordinate the movements into something rhythmically pleasing and y’all can start calling me Ringo.
Every true genius is bound to be naïve. –Friedrich Schiller
My drumming education has begun! The weekend I played at Ladies Rock Camp eight years ago, our drumming education was simply learning a couple of beats which could then be added to a song. I’m not critical of the experience at all; there simply wasn’t time for more than very basic instruction. I expected my drum education now to be similar – learn various beats and how to add them to the other music. Wrong!
My first lesson was on how to set-up my drums to fit my body. My husband had set them up for me when we moved last summer, but there were definitely adjustments to be made and I’m still not sure I have everything entirely right. I’ll work on additional adjustments as I begin to play. Then there was a lesson on how to tune the drums and how to hold the drumsticks. Another lesson focused on reading musical notes for drums – what!!!??? I didn’t even know there was written music for drums!
I’m feeling a little overwhelmed – much like last month when I realized how naïve I was about what it takes to start a garden. I’m going with Schiller’s quote, though, and believing it is okay to be a bit naïve. I may not become a genius gardener or drummer, but I’m taking action and I’m learning.
I’m still learning. –Michaelangelo at age 87