When one door closes….

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(photo courtesy of my friend, Mark Welsford, of Fairchild Photography; taken at the Rock Show hosted by Main Street School of Music in Arnprior, Feb. 23rd, 2017; with my ladies band)

 

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So….as of four days ago ie Monday, I am no longer part of the Werth It band.

Yeah…..bummer, eh?

Some changes in life seem to take a long time, and others can happen real fast.

All in a matter of a conversation, even.

It’s a parting on good terms, as the three of us had a fun time with all of our practices and a couple of performances. At the beginning it seemed as if we all shared a same vision and goals for our band, but over time it became clearer that things were getting somewhat askew.

As with every band experience I learned more about music – new songs, which are of a diverse mix, and I shall miss not playing them. And the dynamics of yet another group of people seeking to share their love of music.

Today as I was doing some more thinking about the change of events, I started focusing on more positives.

a) we might bump into each other again and have an opportunity to jam to songs

b) the ladies band I am in is still going strong, and now that our most recent Rock Show performance is behind us, we are looking to working on some new songs, That’s always an exciting time!

c) I was in conversation with a musician friend I haven’t seen in quite a while, and one of the things we discussed was getting together at her place and she and I just jamming out. I found out that she also plays the piano, in addition to bass! And we both sing, so that will be something fun to look forward to…. ūüôā

d) things that I had to pass on or decline, because they conflicted with the band practices, I can now attend again…..like the monthly blues jams. Even though I willingly passed on those, I did feel a tiny twinge of regret last month, when I had to miss my drumming buddy, Andy’s inaugural time at being house drummer for the blues jam…..something he has been dreaming of doing for a long time. So, I know how much it meant to him. From what I heard, he did a marvellous job of it! ūüėÄ

e) and finally, more regular sessions with my newest drumming coach/teacher, Derek DeBeer (whom I was introduced to by Peter Fredette at the last League of Rock showcase night in December). I could only juggle two sessions so far, and both times we had a blast! We did kitwork in those sessions, but he also teaches hand drumming – he’s originally from South Africa – and I hope to also attend one of his monthly drumming circles, where I’m sure there will be plenty of African style rhythms to explore and learn…..and in a larger group, too!

So…..all that to say…..all is well. And life goes on. ‚̧

 

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Six Word Story #4

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The show is about to begin!

 

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My selfie from last night as I was sitting down at the drumkit and getting ready….just minutes before my band mates and I rocked out on stage at the League of Rock’s finale showcase, where five bands who have been diligently working for the past ten weeks to learn four songs, get expert coaching during that time, and then show what they have achieved¬†in that final performance

Ooooh, what a night! ¬†‚̧

 

To be Inspired…To Dream

It’s the second day of my 3-Day Quote Challenge!

Having dreams, nurturing them, and having them come to life is such an important part of our lives, but it isn’t necessarily something that everyone does. ¬†For so many reasons.

Dreams are a big part of the fabric of our lives, and they deserve to be protected and believed in and achieved.

There are many quotes on pursuing one’s dreams.

For today I picked this one –

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Often we have dreams, but also often we get into a mode of thinking that tends towards the negative. ¬†This quote looks to living your life positively….by focusing on your dreams….that which gives you passion and gets you all fired up in life.
And important, too, is that dreams don’t just occur in younger years. ¬†They can spring forth in later years as well.
For my personal example, here is a photo of me at a drumkit, performing with a band in the League of Rock show in December of last¬†year. ¬†I have loved music all my life; however, circumstances and choices made through the years kept my music dream on the back burner…..until they brought me to a place where I jumped into music once again,¬†after my children were well into their teen years. ¬†I started drumming only eight years ago! ¬†When I was 48, I signed up for lessons and the path led ever further…..to playing and more learning and performing. ¬†I haven’t looked back since. ¬†It’s been a blast of a ride! ¬†Lots of dedication and determination and….PRACTICE…..haha! ¬†And meeting all kinds of amazing people and musicians along the way.
I let go of some dreams of my youth but then nurtured other ones to add to my life’s fabric.
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And my nominee today is Conrad .
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(photo taken by Steve St. Jean at the League of Rock Showcase; December 17, 2015)

His Magnificent Obsession

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It started when he was watching some film footage of a concert, and as he watched the band playing, his attention was mostly on the drummer.

He’d already been following this other drummer, who actually was the one who inspired his passion to learn drumming.

Then some time had gone by. ¬†He’d eagerly gone to drum lessons and worked and practiced diligently for hours every day. ¬†The fire was lit inside him, and he was in his bliss.

No, it was this second guy who thoroughly captured his imagination….whose moves kept him spellbound, whose drumming was complex and yet spoke to him like no other drummer’s playing.

He switched to a new path.

However he could lay his hands on CDs of this band, he would manage it…..somehow. ¬† And he did. ¬†Bought some. ¬†Borrowed some. ¬†And he listened to them every day. ¬†With his headphones on. ¬†Usually after having done the initial warm-up and rudiment exercises.

As he listened to each song, his mind was open, and he felt at one with the music.

Then he decided to work at becoming as proficient as his idol by practicing one song at a time.  Over and over and over and over.  However long it would take.  Until that song was learned.

He didn’t care. ¬†It was the process of teaching himself, and it wasn’t work.

It was his heart’s desire.

Some songs took longer than others. ¬†Some had incredibly complicated rhythms and fills….and solos. ¬†If it meant an unusual bass beat from the regular kind in the chorus, he’d adjust. ¬†For those he would listen in minute detail…..and practice until he could play it exactly like the song.

Why not? ¬†That’s what made these songs great, even just from the drumming point of view. ¬†His idol was not hailed as THE best rock drummer of all time for no reason. ¬†So, he sweated and played and practiced…..sometimes to the point of having blisters and bleeding fingers.

He loved the drummer’s creative use of the kick bass, crashes and ride, for incorporating the toms in unusual and different ways, for his incredibly solid skills with triplets, for always playing right “in the pocket”……….creating sounds he hadn’t heard before.

Each song had its trademark sound. ¬†There’d be 4/4 time, 3/4 time, and some songs with unusual time signatures.

It took a long time, and eventually he would see progress, as in completely being able to play a song from start to finish…..playing along to the band, as he listened with his headphones on.

And what a feeling when another song had been deciphered and learned!  His smile would burst from his face.  His happiness flowed inside, filling him up.

When he had worked his way through the first CD, he then picked up the next one in sequence…..waiting for that first song to start; his fingers, arms, and legs poised with eager anticipation to the sound of the new rhythms and fills. ¬†No holding back. ¬†He’d get there eventually. ¬†Of that he was certain.

On the day he finished the 7th CD, he had the biggest smile on his face! ¬†¬† Quietly….not saying much. ¬†His eyes sparkled and shone. ¬†For his personal development, his goal achieved, and a strengthened passion for his drumming.

Such was his magnificent obsession.

 

 

 

 

The Making of a Drum

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Around three weeks ago I attended a creative workshop…..a drum-making workshop. ¬†A friend had let me know about it two weeks before that, and it sounded like a lot of fun, that I signed up to participate. ¬†And she did, too.

All I knew at first was that the required materials would be supplied, and the whole group would learn together how to make¬†native drums…..one for each of us. ¬†Our instructors, David and Laura, were enthusiastic and knowledgeable and so helpful as they guided us through the various steps. We all started with soaked, already cut deerskin as well as the already shaped spruce wood frame.

Feeling so new at this craft, after a while the flow of binding the deerskin onto the frame with more deerskin “strings” started to happen. ¬†It was an enjoyable process to work with these natural materials and see the drum slowly take shape. ¬†Meanwhile, David would tell us some native stories, when he wasn’t giving us directions or demonstrating the next procedure.

We learned the importance of feeling respect and gratitude for the animal that gave itself, and thus its gifts, so that we could make these crafts.

At the end of the session we had all shared some conversation, some snacks (during the break), some laughter – because we were all having so much fun! – and held in our hands our newly bound and shaped and tightened, still moist drums. ¬†Not yet ready to be used, but it wouldn’t be long before they’d be dry. ¬†All of us felt great as well as satisfied with our finished work and posed as one big group for the final photos.

As we left both David and Laura sent us off with a native song Рhe used a shaker and she sang Рthat had parts that we could all join in on ie. the chorus.  It created a warm feeling of harmony and fellowship.

Now I just have to get into regular habit of oiling and tuning my drum, so it will last and always keep its wonderful resonant sound.

The “drumsticks”¬†we were given, as David had made them prior to the workshop. ¬†These photos show the “inside” of the drum. ¬†You can see the binding as well as the woven handle for ease of holding the drum.

A Photo from 4 Years Ago…

Photo of me on drums by Mark Welsford; June 1, 2011

Cross-sticking on snare,

Add in bass, hi-hats, crash, ride;

Drumming feels so good!

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I was doing my usual work on facebook yesterday, my longest-running social media activity.

And up popped the prompt of looking at “On This Day” posts. ¬†I only just started using this feature a couple of months ago, and it’s become one of my favourites. ¬†It allows older posts that have since turned into archives to get another viewing, plus they offer a way of digging into and sharing memories with one’s friends.

So among several funny posts, up popped this black and white photo (my profile picture at that time), taken by Mark Welsford of Fairchild Photography during a Rock Show performance with the Main Street School of Music¬†in the town of Arnprior, where I had been taking drum lessons. ¬†I was the drummer in a garage band called “Drama in the Collective.” ¬†It was my first such experience playing in a band. ¬†A great learning experience! ¬†In terms of drumming skills and also in learning the dynamics of playing in a band. ¬†I had only just started taking drum lessons less than two years before this show.

My kids were all old enough that I could do something for myself again, and since music has been an integral part for most of my life (in some form or other), that’s where I jumped in again – at age 48 – around 7 years ago…..and with the dream of exploring and learning all I could about music and musicians and practicing and performing. ¬†Taking in all kinds of opportunities to widen my learning horizon. ¬†And above all to have fun doing it! ¬†To savour! ¬†To work with dedication! ¬†To love it!

I am still doing it.  Playing in other bands, playing at jams, performing, supporting and encouraging others, meeting musicians and making friends, and always learning and improving.

Here is my current profile picture on facebook; it’s also in black and white and taken by the same photographer, but from a Rock Show this summer.

Me on drums, Rock Show, June 18, 2015