« Debut Drumming »

drumming with the Broken Strings in the park. fun.I played drums today at a picnic put on by a group of six UCC churches in San Diego. I played in a band called the Broken Strings. I used to play with them for a short while in early 2008, and the last time we played together was the last time I drummed that much, except for a bit of studio testing here and some djembe drumming at the rites in Arizona. So it has been since April 2008 when I played any of this material, or indeed heard any of it. The Strings are a branch of the church that I used to go to for a while as a buffer between my old church and the present one. The usually don't have a drummer or anything else, so they play real low key gigs as favors and fun. (A couple of the guys are brothers and play at their father's nursing home, for example.) The mix of tunes is so uncharacteristically me—old country, show tunes, early rock and roll, blues, pop standards. I originally played guitar for a day or two with them till it made sense to play drums because no one else was.

Today at the picnic, a few members of my church were present, and even after a few years of them knowing me, it came as a surprise for them to see me at the kit, playing two sets. Then I realized it was August 15th, the day when, 21 years ago, I picked up the sticks for the first time in about four or five years. A couple weeks later, after some dabbling in old drum instruction books, I debuted my playing before my family. Today was sort of like that, but with nary an announcement to anyone but Kelli of course. In fact, I haven't even been to church lately to announce anything. So it was a fun thing to play, but we shall see what people think. They're used to experiencing a whole other person.

I'm sort of amazed I could play as well as I did after more than two years of not playing, and despite never even hearing the names of a few tunes that showed up on the set list! Furthermore, since this is a living room fun band, this wasn't a gig using a real sound system. All was left to chance for hearing one another, as everyone is responsible for his own levels. It got crazy sometimes, not so much in its loudness as in its quietness that made vocals and guitars damned hard to cue off of. But hey. It's good for the soul to play, and good for the brain to be thrown into such unprepared circumstances.

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