Practice makes perfect

I hadn't thought about going back to Ladies Rock Camp in Portland so soon. I thought probably I would go back in the fall. But one thing led to another, and now Sweetie and I, as well as a friend, will be heading down there in May. I'm going to go for bass this time rather than drums. No real reason, just a change of pace. I play bass because I play guitar, not because I learned how to play bass. I have mostly played it on my own recordings, with one brief but proud appearance on stage at our last Girls Rock Camp filling in on the anthem. I'd like to learn from someone who is an actual bass player. I am also looking forward to helping create a song from the bass part.

I certainly haven't given up on drums. No way! I'm taking lessons, rather irregularly. I'm not blocking out enough time to practise, but I'm still doing it. I have lots of exercises to work on, and I need to get better at them, so that's not that much point in having another lesson yet.

One exercise is one I'd never heard of: drum scales. I bet that sounds really scintillating to you, especially if you've ever played scales on the piano. The drum scale I'm working on is something I can do with my practice pad, which is good. It means I can dive into it more easily, and I don't have to convince myself to go into the cold basement. I do it with a metronome set quite slow, around 60 beats per minute. It goes like this: 1, 1, 1, 1 (one hit per metronome click), then 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, then in threes, then fours, all the way up to eight per click. I haven't actually managed to get that far. I can do up to six, but seven is pretty hard. Once you get to the top, however far you go, you go back down to one, and then back up again.

Sounds tedious, eh? In a way, it is. But I'm finding it challenging in a good way, and it's the challenge of it that keeps me interested. I want to nail that five beat, get really smooth on the six beat, finally succeed at that seven beat, and eventually get all the way to eight. I want to get better at going down the scale (at first I wrote "get better at going down," but that's a whole different skill), which for me at least is harder than going up. Oddly, after counting through six and five, I mess up on a simple four!

Hmmm. I just got sick of the Oscar telecast. It's going to be one of those interminable years, I know it. But maybe I should watch some more but make it useful and do some pad practice at the same time. Then I can see more dresses too! That's really all the Oscars are for. Oh, and to look at James Franco too. He and Anne Hathaway are so cute together!

No comments: