And Now, An Update on My Drumming

As you may remember, a week ago I got myself an electronic drum set, set it up and started pounding away on it. Here’s what I’ve learned from a week of getting back into the swing of it:

1. I still suck because I am unfathomably rusty, but after drumming roughly an hour a day for a week, I suck less than I did, and some things are coming back better than others. For example, I’m having no problem at all with syncopation, which has always been a strong suit of mine. On the other hand, I can play well or I can play really fast, but at the moment I can’t do both. Hopefully that will improve in time.

2. People have asked about how the cats are handling the drums and me playing it. Well, the picture above shows Zeus hanging out while I’m whacking away on the set. The secret: playing through headphones, so the only person who hears the mighty roaring sounds of the set is me; the cats hear drumsticks hitting mesh, which is very not loud at all. When I play the set through an amp, on the other hand, the cats are deeply offended.

3. At the moment I have a case of adhesive capsulitis going on in my left shoulder (more commonly known as “frozen shoulder”), which limits its mobility somewhat. I thought it might be a problem for playing the drum set, but it turns out it’s really not, and to the extent that I’m regularly exercising the shoulder at the current limit of its mobility, it might actually be helping to restore range. I can live with that.

4. Some folks have asked if I’m planning to put together a band or something. The answer is no, I bought the drumset for my own enjoyment and amusement. That being said, I have a plan to turn a part of my basement into a home music studio, of which the drum set will clearly be a part. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be giving up my day job. But that’s sort of the point; it’s nice to have a hobby.

5. And I am having fun! With that said — and here’s another reason an electronic set was the way to go — I’m playing the drums relatively quietly so that I don’t mess up my hearing. 50-year-old ears are not the same as 15-year-old ears, I have to say.

In all, I’m very happy to be thumping away again. Maybe someday I’ll actually be good! There’s more practice between me and that day, however.

20 Comments on “And Now, An Update on My Drumming”

  1. I had two frozen shoulders some years ago (too much computer programming and not enough tennis and golf) and it took 10 months of a brutal massage therapist digging around to get them unstuck … your mileage may differ but maybe good to get that going before it gets any worse.

    Also not all massage therapists understand how the shoulder hardware works, so watch for that.

    Good luck!

  2. the app Melodics is an interesting way to gamify some of your practice (if your drum kit is supported by them at least). I am in the process of setting my Roland kit back up and using that to knock off the rust.

  3. Frozen shoulder sucks rocks. Had a bad bout of it in 2015, the worst part was not being able to sleep in my preferred position, and waking up every time I semi-consciously or unconsciously tried to roll into it. A very talented Rubenfeld Synergy practitioner (chiropractic) and adding Sonnen’s joint mobility workout to my day almost every day have restored approximately 95% of my range of motion.
    Nevertheless, I’m kinda grateful for it because it was a wake-up call about taking care of my aging body, and I finally listened.
    Drumming sounds like a fun way to keep the affected parts moving, so good on ya, John! Best wishes for a complete and steady recovery (there is NO “quick” recovery from frozen shoulder.)

  4. So you’re saying we shouldn’t look for you to take over drummer duties for DragonForce from Gee Anzalone anytime soon, I guess?

  5. Another frozen shoulder sufferer here – my wife. It really made her cry when the physical therapist finally broke the adhesions and set her free, so to speak.

  6. It’s gotta feel great to be jammin again. I’ve been trying out different electric drumkits for the very same reason, to have fun playing. I’m 49 so it’s a little late to be a Rockstar. (or is it) either way enjoy your new e-kit and all the crazy an funky sounds you can make with it. Before you know it, you’ll be shredding like Jay Wiengurg. 🤘🏻

  7. Have you considered getting JK Simmons to drop by and yell at you to drum better? It seemed to work in that one movie…

  8. Don’t know how I ended up seeing this, but it makes sense and was a quite nice way to start my day. I’m an almost 50 hobbyist myself (see the Happiest Hobbyist on yt for more on that) and am working on my home studio now. My cats want to hang out in my bass drum… until I start playing, of course. Rock on, ol’ fella!

  9. Forward head posture much?

    Frozen shoulder is your cervical spine’s way of telling you to get chiropractic care.

  10. Folks, I don’t actually need advice on my shoulder. I have what we in the industry call “an actual doctor” who is helping me deal with it.

  11. So are you just jamming away, or have you hooked up your iPod or music device to play along with songs? If so, what are you enjoying? Frozen shoulder sucks, I had to get a special strap for my bass so I could stand the weight of it hanging of that shoulder.

  12. I can relate. I used to play drums about 25 years ago. Had a go on my friend’s kit the other day and (a) I was also rusty as hell, and (b) it was really nice to scratch an itch I didn’t know I had…