Not generally being a lover of loud noises, I took one for the blog team and thought I’d have a go at learning how to play drums. Why drums? My flatmate is a drummer so this little challenge wouldn’t need me to leave the comfort of the flat. Excellent.
I’ll start by saying that this ordeal (yes, ordeal) has given me a massive new respect for drummers. I set myself this challenge thinking it’d be fairly simple to hit what I essentially thought was a couple of circles with two wooden sticks. First lesson already learnt: don’t say things like that to a drummer – it’s very insulting apparently. Secondly, it is definitely NOT easy. I genuinely thought I had some basic rhythm but I guess not.
We decided that my goal was to learn to drum along to one song. My song of choice: One Direction’s timeless classic, What Makes You Beautiful. My flatmate absolutely hates the song, bless him, but he managed to listen to it on repeat for two days and not kill himself, although the phrase “FML” was thrown around a lot. I think he achieved more than I did, to be honest.
To start with, he taught me a basic beat, or the “groove”, as it’s called, hitting the high hat and snare drum. It wasn’t too hard; at this point I still had faith in myself, eagerness to learn and a will to live. Plus, to my ears, it sounded pretty good.
About an hour later I was ready to throw the drum kit and myself out of the window. I’d advanced from doing the groove to adding in a “fill”. Basically, I was frantically trying to hit pretty much every drum, whilst still trying to make it sound good. In musical terms, what I should have been doing was ” a short riff or rhythmic sound which helps to sustain the listener’s attention during a break between the phrases of melody”.
I think my problem was that I got bored really quickly. Drumming was getting irritatingly repetitive, my arms and leg were aching and I had to sit with my legs open like a man to hold the pedals down. Actual quote from my flatmate: “The past two days, you’ve managed to make drums so stressful in my life.” If I ever hear anyone say, “Drumming? That’s so easy!” I will go out and buy my own drumkit just to throw at them.
Without further ado, here is me, after two days of constant practise, still not playing to the beat (and this was take five):