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A New Venture for Pogo- I've decided to take up DRUMMING! Part V

Posted by fiddlepogo on Wednesday, October 2, 2013

And the drumming saga continues.


My wife eats a lot of bananas, and one of the places I pick up bananas for her is just down a few stores from the local Guitar Center.

Well, of course, I checked out the drum section of the Guitar Center FIRST!

And just a minute after I enter the store,  I hear somebody announce:

"We'll be starting in 2 more minutes!" or somesuch.

I ask what they are starting.   A local "Drum Off", with about 5 contestants.  I decide to stay and listen to the whole thing.

(My wife wasn't in a hurry for those bananas...)

And it was pretty inspiring and amazing.  And humbling.   I think I'm doing pretty well for a month in, but some of these guys are stratospherically good.  I'll never get even close in THIS life!

I've also figured out some immediately goals.  I like ATTAINABLE goals!  I'm not really going to be a rock drummer.  I'm already a "praise guitarist" - I play electric guitar on a worship team doing "contemporary Christian Music".   But I focused on blues as a kind of source music to practice on to develop chops.  I think I'm going to do the same with drums... focus on blues and blues-rock drumming to develop my drum chops, and then see if I can't apply it to "praise music".   Oddly, one of the things blues has with Contemporary Christian music is that both genres tend to need understatement when it comes to chops or hot licks- they are more about mood or emotion... you don't need to be complicated, you need to convey the emotion.  In contrast, it's TOUGH for hard rock musicians to switch to either blues or praise music- whether drums or electric guitar, they have an EXTREME tendency to over-play- not to mention they tend to play too LOUD!

Now, some of you might wonder- why drums if you already play electric guitar at the church?

I've been playing on church praise teams fairly steadily since 2002, and one thing I've noticed is that there is nearly always one position that's hard to fill- on the two previous teams it was bass or drums- on this team lately it's acoustic rhythm guitar.  Well, before the index finger flaked out on me, I could play some songs on acoustic rhythm guitar.  Now, I don't dare DO that. 

So I want to have the ability to "play another position", like when our current drummer goes out of town.

I've also noticed that now that I'm "into" drums, I have been able to see tons of things wrong with the church drum set- three new heads, and a LOT of adjusting!

Some might ask, why not fiddle???

Well, I wish I COULD play more fiddle.  But the pastor's wife grew up poor in Arkansas, and she overdosed on down-home country-style music growing up!  Every year, I maybe do a medley of Christmas carols as a special- she can handle that!  If I even do country-style licks on the electric guitar, she'll laugh.... nervously.  One of the things that baffles her is just how popular country music of various flavors actually is in California.

Also, for the most part, they really like what I do with electric guitar... I really try NOT to overplay.  I  more often get complaints that I'm not loud enough than that I'm too loud... and I prefer it that way!  And I really try and fit what I play to the song.

However, we have a problem when the drummer and bass player BOTH can't make it.   I tend to overcompensate on guitar, and get too rhythmic because the rhythm drifts more without them, and the palm-muted "chanking" rhythm I use drives the team leaders up a TREE!

It would be much easier to just play drums, than to try to turn my guitar into drums!

One thing I REALLY like and even need about playing on a praise team:

When I gig, I gig solo... it's all on me, and I'm the center of attention.  I really need the opportunity I get on the praise team to be a "side-man", a support player.

1 comment on “A New Venture for Pogo- I've decided to take up DRUMMING! Part V”

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 @11:33:20 AM

My music theory prof told us there was NO country music in California until the Okies and Arkies invaded in the 30s. Add the Mariachi (oompahs and waltzes) now and you've got acoustic flavours all over the place.

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