My Krampusnacht Gift

Here’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about me: My first musical instrument — before the ukulele! — was the drums. I’ve had a drumset since I was a teenager (a Tama Swingstar with Paiste 2002 cymbals for you drum nerds) and I used to play regularly. But then a while back I stopped, primarily because drums are super-loud and scare the cats and even in a big house require forbearance from others.

Recently I wanted to get back into playing drums more and casually started looking into electronic drumsets. Then it turned out a friend of Krissy’s, who played electronic drums, had upgraded to a new set and was looking to get rid of his older set for a very acceptable price. Suddenly: I have a new electronic drumset.

And how is it? It’s a lot of fun, actually. And also, since I haven’t seriously practiced drums in about a decade, I really really suck. I, uhhhh, have some work to do to get up to speed. Fortunately, I have most of my December free. The good news is that I can play in headphones at a moderate level of volume (i.e., without blowing out my own ears), and all anyone hears is tippity-tippity-tap-tap — which, as the drumset is in the basement, is easily filtered out by closing the basement door.

Also, my Fitbit is convinced I just did 44 minutes on an outdoor bike. Not true, Fitbit, but thank you for making the effort!

18 Comments on “My Krampusnacht Gift”

  1. Congrats on getting back to playing! I dabble in drums (have my own electronic set) but I’ve been a bass player for 35 years. I had to take a 3 year break when I developed some weird nerve thing that made me lose the use of my hand, but am thankfully back to playing again. Making music is a serious joy, even if you are just goofing around. Have fun!

  2. Good solution.

    I’m thinking of getting an electronic keyboard (we have a piano), so that I can practice, experiment and learn without somebody hearing me screw up the notes.

  3. Somebody needs to do the math. Playing drums can be a work out. But how much of a workout? It sounds like an interesting problem.

  4. Fitbit always makes a guess. For me, mowing the lawn with a self-propelled, walk behind mower counts a outdoor bike. When I do pruning around the yard it is counted as “Sport”. I always get a giggle out of it.

  5. If you get the chance to find it, there is a DVD called Rowan Atkinson Live containing a bit called “Invisible Drums” that you might find amusing. While I don’t think he plays drums in reality, his air drums game is fantastic. :)

  6. What’s it like hitting the cymbals? Different from real cymbals (I assume yes)? If yes, in what way?

  7. Whenever I watch videos of drummers they seem soaked in sweat. Good drumming obviously is a full body workout.

  8. I’ve never owned a drum set, electronic or analog, but the first time I set eyes on an electronic drum pad, I realized it had to be one of the greatest inventions of the modern age!

    Whoever invented it, parents (and cats) of drumming children around the world thank you!

  9. Along time ago I was visiting friends, and was invited to their daughter’s 5th birthday party. My frind pulled me aside and told me “Mark, you’ve been very generous to Jill over the years, but she really has enough stuffed animals. Maybe something else this year?” I agreed, I thought it was nice she gave me a tip, I had no idea what to get a 5 year old.

    So I went to the toy store and picked up something she and her friends could have fun with: the Sesame Street Band set. Drums, wood block, tambourine, triangle and castanets.

    Obviously, I didn’t think this through.

    So, it’s day of the party, cake and ice cream for all, and time to open presents. 5 minutes later, marching band was in full session. Everyone was banging away, no rhythm, just noise and big smiles. I thought it was great, then I looked at Jill’s mom. She didn’t think it was great, I think she wanted to join the band by whacking me with a big stick.

    The next time I visited was about three months later. I was chatting with Jill, she said “You know that band set you gave me? I can’t find it anywhere!” I looked at her mom, she had a big smile on. And I knew exactly where it ended up.

    Lesson learned: Kids and percussion instruments are a great combination, if they’re someone else’s kids.

  10. My back neighbor is a professional drummer, and I love listening to him during the summer when the windows are open. Drums are fantastic!

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