Category Archives: Drums

Teach Your Step Mom to Play 7 Nation Army on Drums in 7 Easy Steps

1. Introduce your step-mom to the drums. Mom meet drums. Drums meet mom. Teach her how to hold the sticks and work the pedals. Teach her simple beats. Boom tap boom tap boom boom tap boom tap, etc. (there is a whole drummer language at work here trust me I just haven’t learned to speak it all yet.)

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2. Next, take over the radio in the car whenever y’all are going somewhere together and play her every White Stripes song on your iPod that you like. Repeat as needed but focus on the songs you like the most ingraining them into her psyche so that random riffs play through her head while she’s sitting at her desk at work. Eventually she will become the one playing you her favorite White Stripes songs. (Remember moms and dads there is no rule that says if you like bluegrass you can’t like Jack White- in fact I think he may even like bluegrass a little too…..give your kids music a chance ’cause sometimes it’s not just noise… unless maybe it’s the Beiber then I’m so sorry, I’ll pray for you…)
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3. Casually mention to your step-mom how easy the drum parts are in most of those songs – how they’re mostly quarter note beats and one day, if you’re really lucky, she will say hey if Meg can do it I bet I can too. [editor note: this happened about a week ago…. Look out world this chick has some sticks and she’s not afraid to use them!]

4. Work out your solo for 7 Nation Army on the guitar and then invite your step ma into the music room and have her play the part of the drummer. (black clothing and wristbands are optional)

5. Break down the parts of the song for her and tell her what to hit and when. Smile as she starts hammering away on the wrong drums. Gently correct her attack of the ride to sound more “tappy” and not so “crashy”. Remind her this is Meg White not Metallica.

6. Start to play, nod at her when to come in and listen as she gets lost halfway through the song and says, “man I need to write this stuff down so I know what to hit and when.” Cue light bulb moment when you excuse yourself from the room and return with sheet music. (Just because she only reads guitar chords doesn’t mean she can’t be taught drum score. There are a few old dogs and cats who can still learn some new tricks)

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7. Watch her light bulb moment happen when she puts it all together and realizes what all the dots and x’s mean after you explain them and then executes them in a semi-pleasing way while you rock on the guitar, even if they are just all quarter notes with one eighth note thrown in for grins.

Your work here is done!

P.S. For some more odd pairings (as if a step mom playing White Stripes on the drums wasn’t odd enough!) you can catch Jack White and the picker people (as we refer to them), Frank and Mike together tonight- Monday Jan. 9th on the History Channel in a new episode of American Pickers. And yes we are big fans of this show ’cause you know how we love a good deal on cool stuff around here!


Merry Belated Christmas Y’all!

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What we’ve been up to….

This….

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And this…

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And a lot of this…

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We partied hard for Christmas with breakfast that lasted all day- the amount of food not the length of the meal…in fact we never really ate dinner that night. We got lots of cool music related gifts… the boy and I actually received a lot of the same kinds of gifts….guitar strings, guitar tuners, cds, bracelets….. hmmm…. is it weird for the kid and the parent to get the same kind of stuff? Maybe I really am a 15-year-old boy in the body of a 30-something female…

Before the holiday frenzy we played football through Turkey Day (another day when we ate way toooo much…..!) right up til December 10th! Which really means the band played stand tunes at every playoff game every Friday night forever. Well not really forever…it just felt like it would never end some weeks! Sadly our team came in 2nd in the state title- but it wasn’t due to lack of trying or support from the community and the band. And we ‘paraded’ again this year meaning the boy played tenors in the annual Christmas Parade. He can also be seen above rocking the tympani as a reindeer at the winter concert. {yep, another profile shot….my fave apparently…}

I should have remembered from last year that Fall and Winter tend to be busy for us…but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel- I can see it! Or….wait is that a train?? Back to bringing you more music mayhem in the following days!


I’m No Stranger to the Rain

Dear Keith Whitley …could you please put in a good word up there above and get the powers that be to hold off on the whole water thing this week so the kiddos can get one football game in where the marching band can actually perform by marching on the field rather than standing in front of it….it is marching band after all….ok thanks for your consideration….

Fall is here. Football is here. And the RAIN is here. It’s like living in Oregon but strangely only on the weeks when we have a home game. So far the band has only gotten to play one scheduled Friday night game but the field was still so wet from the rain all week and they couldn’t march. (Apparently marching in wet grass and mushy ground is like marching in peanut butter…there’s no rolling that heel when your foot is mired in mud and muck apparently) They were still awesome standing still but could’ve been so much more awesome doing their thing like this:
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But we’ll take any opportunity to play – standing, marching, laying down, upside down (*cough*cough* Tommy Lee!!!) or whatever.

The next home game got called off on account of – you guessed it – rain and the band had to play from the stands on a Monday night because they didn’t have enough people to do a full marching show.

I just want my Friday night football game french fry fix and to see my kid march in uniform on a dry field for a halftime show at least once this year. And this week is their Homecoming game to add insult to injury.

So say a tiny prayer with me folks. The weatherman says it’s gonna be cloudy with a 70 % chance of rain today, heavy rain tomorrow and showers again on Thursday. Maybe, just maybe, it will be dry enough come Friday….but just in case, I think I’m gonna recommend at the next school board meeting that the field should have a dome over it….Amen


Consistently Inconsistent

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If by technical difficulties you mean the writer of this blog can’t seem to post anything in a consistent fashion around here, then yes we are having difficulties of the technical fashion. Speaking of fashion my concert wear post seems to be the top viewed thing which is very cool by the way! Thanks to everyone who’s looked at it…or to that one person who’s looked at it 42 times! And because I care about spreading the concert fashion etiquette rules to you good people as I know them and see them, I hope to be back soon with another helping. I’ll give you a hint – it involves a knitted Christmas poinsettia sweater vest. Yeah I know, you can’t wait!

So, things I wish I could say we’ve been up to the last 3 weeks:

  • rockin’ out at some cool concerts like Jack White and The Ranconteurs or ZBB {there was much begging and pleading over Mr. White’s event, but the closest they were coming was Nashville…and it was a school night…and we live 9 hours and 6 minutes from that city in Tennessee….) 
  • rollin’ in the dough from selling drums parts and holding down really cool jobs
  • drinkin’ margaritas by the pool

What has really transpired:

  • We survived Hurriquake 2011! Hurray! And a first anniversary! Awww!
  • We are doing mega amounts of homework (well the boy is, not me per say, but i do my part by asking what do you have for homework? Have you finished your homework? and When are you going to finish your homework? Ya know, helpful stuff like that}
  • We (me) had our butts kicked by 20/20/20 class and the new elliptical at the gym
  • We journeyed into the land of plumbing (again) with the fixing of the drippy copper pipe under the house and by fixing I mean replacing as much of it as we could with something other than copper.
  • We (the husband) had a run in with a black snake. Yes Dad they do keep the mice/moles/voles/varmints away but they are still snaky and when they come up the steps to your porch WHILE you are sitting on it, they can cause slight heart attacks….{in case you couldn’t tell we are not a fan of anything that slithers by the way, but to each his own}
  • We had our first home marching band gig of the season (there was a football game involved but really who goes to watch that?) Too bad the field was still too wet to march on : ( But there’s always next week!
  • We woke up to fall weather! Overnight! Complete with a 20 degree temperature drop! Bring it!! I’m sooo ready!

What I would like to work on:

  • Make the drumroom more presentable. Right now it looks as if an earthquake happened in there. Oh wait…no really it’s not that bad but could use some organization, actually a bigger room would probably help a lot, but the boys have not fully convinced me to turn the living room into the drum room just yet!
  • Take more pictures so I have more fodder for ye ol’ blog. Picture me at the first football game last week, the one mother figure there without a camera. I know I’m failing as a parent…. but the man of the house says that we live with the boy and see him everyday so it was no big deal I forgot the camera! Grandma came to the rescue though- in her bag of tricks she had both the camera and the camcorder {I wonder sometimes am I really her offspring since I so frequently forget the camera or to even take pictures when I do remember it?}

 
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{yes that is the side of his head ….I never claimed to take good pictures….and why is he holding cymbals and not a snare I don’t know…and why did I not take any pictures of the band on the field??? Failing….}

  • Be more consistently consistent in the writing department. Yes I’ve been a slacker here for the past 3 weeks. The first step is admitting you have a problem right?
  • Pick apples and make pies. Yep I’m that easily entertained. I also enjoy letting the boy deejay songs on the iPod whenever we’re in the car. It’s the simple things.

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{one more side shot for ya from our apple foray of last year….is anyone else sensing a pattern in my picture taking poses?… Maybe I’m just trying to be sneaky by taking shots when they’re not looking so they don’t realize I’m taking their picture….and by the way it’s really amazing what one year living in the country will do to a kid- ours gained about 6 inches in height and lost about 6 inches of hair…}

Happy Fall Y’all! I’m off to produce more posts, practice proper picture-taking techniques,  procure apples and prepare pies. Peace!


*** We Interrupt this Hurriquake…***

to bring you a special NEWS BULLETIN.

It’s our anniversary!

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One year ago today I married my drummer husband (yes on our back porch) and inherited my drummer step-son (he took this picture from the porch swing) and filled my house what else, drums! 

We met through a mutual friend who thought we would make good friends if nothing else! This was part of my response to his first email to me when he said he heard I was a music fan:

A big yes to the music fan part– love love love music–love to play, sing and go to concerts. Mostly into everything from bluegrass and gospel to country- classic and newer stuff, to southern rock, old school G’N’R & Metallica, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and a little alternative thrown in for good measure….

I play acoustic guitar and sing around with friends and at my church and I hear you play the drums….what kind of music are you into? Do you ever play out anywhere?

Little did I know that email would be the beginning of many many nights of conversations and a first date to a concert! Which led to many more concerts and open mics and stepmom-hood and becoming a marching band parent and having a house full of guitars, drums and best of all people!

I love you and Happy 365 day Anniversary!

 


Shakin’, Rattlin’ and Rollin’ and How to be Prepared

First off let us recap this week- ’cause I’m sure y’all are dying to know all about it!

  • Monday: Back to school! We are now the proud owners (!?) of a 10th grader. But I refuse to talk about driver’s ed…Sold some drum goodies on eBay – snare parts and mounts and a little DW 8″ piccolo tom – and got held up at gunpoint by Paypal. (no, not really, they just have some random new “hold your money for no reason” policy even if you are an excellent eBayer and have been for years, but I digress…)

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(good-bye cute drum!)

  • Tuesday: EARTHQUAKE!! We were lucky- no damages to home, persons or drums. (A co-worker’s deer head in his office didn’t fair as well….I warned you we live in the sticks..) Kids got a nice afternoon of hanging on the football field when they evacuated school. I finally stopped shaking a few hours after the ground did. (Props to you California for living with this sorta event all.the.time. Yeah, we know, we’re wusses when it comes to the whole earth-shaking thing that’s why we chose to live way over here… but we can take your jokes! Some folks did have some significant damage though and we can now say that Central VA is responsible for cracking the Washington Monument…)

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(image borrowed from here)

  • Wednesday: More Earthquakes, well aftershocks, followed by blizzards (the ice cream kind!)
  • Thursday: MORE Earthquakes (aftershocks can end at any time now thank you!) and a helluva thunder-storm that I think may be a preview to the impending doom predicted for the east coast this weekend (aka Hurricane Irene…hopefully it won’t be this bad…)

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  • Friday: It’s early so I can’t say how the day will play out just yet. We should be preparing for this new disaster of biblical proportions I suppose, but we have no generator to buy gas for and the guys aren’t big on tuna or other non-cooked meals that one should have on hand to survive should the storm render us powerless. So we’ll just play drums and guitar in the dark, drink our bottled water and Coke, eat jalapeno potato chips and wait for the next big thing! Since we already had the fires last week (well just some overzealous boy scouts in the camp behind our house who weren’t familiar with operating dampers on the big cook stove they were using and in return smoked us out and made us think the woods were on fire) I figure the locusts and the plagues should be here about Thursday next week…. 

Now in the spirit of being prepared, I give you a list of things to know if you are soon to be living with, working with or dating a drummer:

  • They will carry drum keys everywhere they go {it’s like an unwritten rule or something…}
  • They will carry sticks most of the time too – these are used for beating on the dashboard in the car or the practice pad or whatever else they can beat on wherever they are

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 (“drumchucks” image by drumlove)

  • They have their own language meaning they will talk to each other in “drum” sounds -I would give you an example but I can’t speak it yet let alone type it correctly!  
  • They will use funny sounding musical terms like paradiddle and triplet
  • They will teach you that RLRR LRLL is not a texting abbreviation like ROTFL 
  • They will introduce you to tons of new music- this past year alone I’ve been privy to a whole new world of sounds including Slipknot, Shinedown, the White Stripes and marching band music (the last two by the way are phenomenal for getting stuck in my head all.day.long. And I keep telling the boy I can play drums as good as Meg if he’ll play Jack’s part, but he just shakes his head…)
  • They may not always hear you when you call to them from the other room…or sometimes in the same room…
  • They will be entertaining {have you ever met a drummer who wasn’t funny?}
  • They will make great husbands {hi hunny!} and step-sons {yo!}

So bring it Irene! We can take it! Batten down the hatches my friends and lock up what you still want to own and have a lovely disaster free weekend!


The Old Switcheroo

As a rule of thumb, things just can’t stay the same around here for long – furniture and cabinet contents are never guaranteed to be in the same place from month to month so why should drums be any different? Remember our little black beauty? And our bamboo surprise?

Well they got a little makeover and went from this

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and this

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to these!

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“How you doin’ ?” 

Not sure what prompted the revamping although a few weeks ago we were trying to sell the bamboo on eBay but it wasn’t garnering much interest. Maybe that was the catalyst for the makeover. {I know new jewelry and some mascara always make me feel more glamorous!}  Either way, that little bamboo number with the black hardware is now our collective favorite. The menfolk alone spent an hour talking about how cool it turned out. And all they did was switch up the hardware.

I do kinda miss the black on black action that used to be on the ebony satin oil snare though. It had that dark and dangerous feel like it belonged in a death metal band. But it does blend more with our DW black ice kit now that it has chrome hoops and lugs. The problem now is getting the boy to agree to sell the souped up bamboo snare with black hoops…. but if we give it a week or two I’m sure like everything else, that’ll change.