From Guitarist to Drummer | Guest Post
I tried playing the guitar first when I was 21, took a few lessons and half heartedly played ever now and then at home. When I got married my Yamaha RGX was sold along with the practice amp and my auction purchased Volvo 340 to fund a deposit for a house. Upon getting divorced and suddenly finding myself with a lot more time, and money on my hands I went through a succession of guitars and cheapo amps in a bid to rekindle my interest. Being a bit of a tightwad I had gone about it the wrong way really, my enthusiasm waned when faced with the lacklustre sound my mediocre playing was producing. Then one rainy Saturday afternoon, I was mooching about looking for a bit of retail therapy. Had a gander round the local music shop like I normally did and thought what I need is a decent sounding valve amp, as if that was the only thing missing to make myself into the rock god that I had envisaged for so long! Rather than jump straight in I promised myself that today I was only looking, my head and ears were particularly aroused though by the raucous british metal sound that I was able to tease out of a used Vox VT80+, even with my so so abilities my rendition of teenage kicks ringing out loud and proud prompted someone browsing to start singing along and rocking their head in appreciation. This was it, I had found the holy grail, I didn’t however buy it straight off, I went home, researched it, researched alternative’s, read reviews until I knew that amp inside and out then went back six weeks later to see if it was still available. Suffice to say it was and I was now facing another rainy Saturday afternoon but this time sitting in front of me was the Magnificent Metal producing Monster of an amp. As I sat perusing the pamphlet of rather complicated instructions and fiddling with the knobs it didn’t take long to realise that despite the seductive sounds I was able to produce in the store I wasn’t immediately a rock god of quite the epic proportions I had been hoping for. I turned the different knobs for amp models, effects and reverb this way and that and went through all 99 presets before coming to the grim realisation that I was going to have to knuckle down and practice if I was going to any good. A good pal of mine came round to have a play, his playing is truly inspirational normally but this time I finally realised that I actually preferred listening to him playing than taking my turn, rather than jam together we ended up alternating because nothing I played enhanced what he was playing. So I sat there quite happily tapping a pen on the coffee table and stamping my feet in time and then BINGO! Drums if I played the drums then even a simple rhythm would enhance his guitar playing, we could start a band, play the jam night at the pub down the road, probably even get a record deal, my 40 years on the planet would suddenly start rolling back and I would be cool! The only flaw is that drums take up an awful lot of room and try as I might I just couldn't really fit them in my house, so the whole idea was a non starter. I thought about electronic drums and whilst the expensive sets may be really good they seemed a bit too pricey to purchase if I then couldn’t drum. Skip ahead a few weeks and yet another rainy Saturday (I do live in the north of Scotland!) saw me browsing aimlessly on Gumtree when I came across an ad for ‘flats lite drums’, for those not familiar this is an acoustic drum kit with no shells, all the fun of a drum kit I thought but without taking up so much space, I could just fit them in my front room alongside my guitars and amps. £70 and a trip to Aberdeen later and I was happily setting them up in the living room, discovering with pleasure that the flats only require one screw to be adjusted for tuning. 30 minutes and 2 YouTube videos later and I was bashing out a competent enough rock beat and sat thoroughly thrilled with my purchase. This time I am doing it right, I am lucky enough that there is a renowned drum tutor in the village where I live, I hadn’t realised before I had bought the drums but he has taught half the kids in the village some of whom had won competitions in London! So tonight I have been told to bring my sticks and at 6 o clock will experience my first drum lesson, haven’t been this excited since I first picked up a guitar 20 years ago! I will let you know how it goes.