Three years ago I had a mid-life crisis.
It could’ve been much worse. All mine amounted to was tattooing a barbed-wire peace symbol on my foot and buying a set of drums.
Okay, not Doobie Brothers good, but she could play.
Of course, I inherited my cousin’s clarinet, so that’s what I ended up playing in the band.
Then three years ago, I got this uncontrollable urge to buy a drumset.
I found one for sale on Craig’s list just up the street from me and bought them the next day.
Loaded up every last piece in my trunk, put the bass drum in the passenger seat, drove back home and set them up in my garage.
Took me the rest of the afternoon to figure out how to put it together.
That’s when I realized that you can learn to do just about anything on the Internet.
Later on I took some lessons, but at first I watched YouTube videos to figure out what my hands and feet were supposed to be doing.
There are lots of variations, but the basic 4/4 rhythm is this – your right hand keeps a steady one-two-three-four, while your left hand is keeping the second and fourth beats, and at the same time, your right foot bangs out the first and third beats on the kick-bass. Now, if coordination came in a can, I’d need a case, but once I got the hang of it, I started to feel it and I loved it. Then I started to feel some fills. And if I was lucky and concentrated hard enough, I could get my left foot going at the same time to open and close the high hat.
And when it all works, and you’re right there in the middle of all that music, playing with people you love,
well, there’s just nothing better.
They say the best way to ward off Alzheimer’s is to use a different part of your brain to learn something new.
Playing drums sure does my heart good, too.