Practicing Through The Storm
A Monster Blog by Bryan Lowe
As I write this, Seattle is recovering from the Snowpocalypse of 2019.
Nine inches of snow shut down schools, churches and just about any driving. Now, before those of you in snowy areas get all “oh my god how silly”, just know that Seattle is nothing but hills and bridges, and snow is rather rare. This isn’t the flatlands of Nebraska. Look for videos of buses sliding and crashing through guardrails, then hanging precariously over the precipe.
I just mention this, as both lessons and practicing came to a halt. We lost electricity three times, for a total of about 34 hours. No heat, no lights, no drumming.
But the snow is gone and my lessons on Rhythm-Monster and with the Keith Highlanders have resumed. Lessons are lining up pretty well, as I was just getting into buzz strokes online, and the teacher at my in-person classes is also introducing them. That’s pretty handy. One supports the other.
I have the buzz stroke down pretty well, but accenting the start of a buzz stroke, alternating left and right, isn’t happening quite yet.
I’m going to keep working through the buzz stroke exercises of Rhythm-Monster as I can see they are clearly leading toward those accents. I’ll just keep going.
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One funny thing. My Keith Highlanders instructor, Tim, had me trying marching in place while I played a simple exercise. I’ve not felt so uncoordinated since… well, ever. Had I been moving with a band I would have caused a pile up of players. (Ack. Horrible.) Left/right feet kept getting confused with left/right stick, and having them both happen at the same instant, well, it wasn’t happening.
Just now I finished trying it again at home, and all it took was a bit of time. Isn’t that always the case? Practice works, funny thing. I need more of it to really have this marching thing down, but my stumbles were few by the end of about 20 or 25 minutes.
Yeah. This is feeling good. And yes, I think I’ll be able to get good enough to play with a band. I love that thought.