New member saying hello (warning, it’s long and I’m a bore )

Mayan

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Mayan, have you checked out the best throne for you? Does yours need or have a back? Ace
The throne i have should be replaced. It’s very basic, no back. I’m told there is a throne with more of a saddle type seat with a split down the center that is best for the spine. But this is something I need to handle pretty soon of course.
 

dsop

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Thursday I watched an interview with Taylor Hawkins on YouTube, and he mentioned that he tried to learn double bass technique but it was too late. He said he believed that 90% of ones playing style is sorta cemented in the first couple of years, and after that it seems impossible. Any opinions on that? Of course it isn’t impossible, but what he is saying makes some sense also.
I don't believe that to be true. Although I started playing two bass drums about a year after I started playing, I went through phases where I only used a single. I would go back and forth between two bass drums, one bass drum, two bass drums, one bass drum and a double pedal, two bass drums, one with a double pedal... A few months ago I decided to just use a single pedal again. It seemed that I found myself playing really typical nonsense with the two pedals and I got tired of it. Playing anything interesting with a double pedal would require playing very unique music, otherwise you end up drawing a lot of attention, and consuming a LOT of the band's low end while you're playing them.

It can't hurt to try it out though. If you've never played them, it may be fun. Personally, I find plenty of challenging things to work on with the hi-hat foot.
 

multijd

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Hello and I hope everyone is drumming plenty and staying healthy and sane during this crazy time in our lives. Glad to be here and look forward to continuing to enjoy the time I spend here, as I’ve been lurking and reading a bit. Now I can post and ask for advices and hopefully contribute something...eventually, anyway.

I played drums as a kid, started at age 11 or so and did the school music stuff, marching band and wind ensemble and festivals etc. Then I went off to school and that was the beginning of the end of my playing. First only the summers, and just less and less did I have the ability to play the drums I owned. Then I moved across the country to SoCal and after six or seven years, I told my dad he could sell my drums, get a few hundred bux. Which he did (I regret not asking him to keep the snare drum, a Slingerland Spitfire, and I have also posted a thread on the marketplace/wanted board, I’d like to find more of those drums). And that was probably fifteen years ago. So it has been 20 years since I played drums with a decent ability or technique.

Fast forward to last summer, and my recent serious back pain turned into paralysis. I was driving a manual transmission at the time, and the need to take my hands off the wheel and stick, to pick up my left leg from the clutch, meant I should stop driving. !!!! So I did. And called a couple friends who took about 45 minutes during late afternoon L.A. traffic to get where I parked in Venice Beach. By the time they got there, the tingles in my legs were gone, and my body from the bottom of my pectoral muscles to my toes was essentially dead weight. My friends struggled to pull me out of my car and put me in the back of their SUV. And it took another 40 minutes or so to make our way back to Cedars Sinai where I was gonna live for the next two weeks.

After the mandatory EKG and other standard tests were fine, they did X-rays and MRI and by 10:30PM or so I was shaking hands with the spine surgeon who told me his twin brother, a neurosurgeon, had also gotten out of bed and was on his way for my spinal fusion surgery. Of course I asked if there was another option. “Do you wanna walk again?” was the response before I finished the question. So they fused my thoracic spine, T3 through T9.

On day one, I walked with a walker and plenty of assistance, beginning rehab right away. But I walked only one time before they came to do an echocardiogram. They bones they removed from my spine and replaced with rods were cultured and revealed streptococcus in my spine and blood. And sure enough, the echocardiogram showed that two of my heart valves were infected. Not only that, but I had a genetic aortic aneurysm, and it was enormous. My aorta was dilated to 9.4 centimeters, it should be no more than 4cm. This comes with a 90% mortality rate, so the surgery was urgent. Should the aneurysm rupture, death it is. But I had streptococcus in my blood and it needed to clear before the valve replacement and graft procedure. So a week of using antibiotics along with lots of poly-pharmacy to keep my pulse slightly elevated but my blood pressure slightly lowered, so I would be as safe as possible as the bacteria cleared.

The surgeries were August 7 and 14th, and I came home the 21st. I recovered remarkably well, I have no pain to speak of, better-than-ever posture. And my endurance is fine, I need to remind myself when I’m on the elliptical that I had serious heart surgery, slow down a little! But I‘m incredibly blessed to feel this way. During my recovery when I was still in the hospital, I started to look at drums online. eBay and craigslist, stuff on GC’s website, etc. And I decided when I was able to, I would start playing again.

In November as I was walking near where I live in L.A. (rehab), I passed GC and then walked in the Sam Ash Percussion store and just looked around a minute. Such beautiful drums, and pretty cool how acoustic drums and hardware haven’t actually changed all that much since Y2K. I played used Slingerland drums growing up, and when I left Sam Ash I googled to discover the DW purchase of the Slingerland brand from Gibson. That sealed it for me, I knew if those drums were coming back and hopefully DW was gonna make a quality product, I was gonna wanna get a kit when they were ready, it was another sign to me.

Then the pandemic lockdown begins, I start reading and find one of those Slingerland Spitfire snares on eBay and make it mine. And of course I was psyched for the delivery and got impatient during the weeklong wait. So when I found a mahogany 4 piece Slingerland kit on Craigslist that came with hardware and cymbals and even cases with a junk box for $950, I drove to look. And brought them home. I live in a small complex of townhomes, and now I have one neighbor who is generally obnoxious who is displeased, and a bunch of other neighbors who have been really nice in telling me how great it sounds, as dishonest as they may be (it’s Hollywood, people are full of sh!t!!!), and boy do I need to practice!

So after that massive novel (thank you if you stayed with it), hello to all of the drummers and other great people who post here, I hope all are well, and I look forward to being a little bit better than I could’ve been, had I not come here.
Welcome!!
 

hsosdrum

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Thursday I watched an interview with Taylor Hawkins on YouTube, and he mentioned that he tried to learn double bass technique but it was too late. He said he believed that 90% of ones playing style is sorta cemented in the first couple of years, and after that it seems impossible. Any opinions on that? Of course it isn’t impossible, but what he is saying makes some sense also. And of course it’s always cool to learn how to do something new.
While I understand what Hawkins means, I think he overstates how "set in stone" anyone's playing style might be, especially after they've been playing for only a couple of years. (I cringe to think of how one-dimensional my musical approach was during my first few years of playing — Yikes!) As long as you keep listening your playing style will always evolve and you'll always become a better musician. However, one thing to keep in mind is that changing from single-bass to double-bass does require that you make a conscious decision to do so.

As far as technique goes, if you're willing to practice double-bass you can master it; you don't have to start out playing double-bass. As far as style goes, think about all the different ways that different players employ their double bass drums: most of the time Ginger Baker treated his second bass drum as an additional bass voice, while Louie Bellson played more like a single-bass player, reserving his double-bass work for solos and standout fills. Metal players use double-bass to lay the sonic foundation of the music; Keith Moon used his for explosive flourishes (sometimes literally!); in addition to underpinning certain musical passages with 8th- or 16th-note runs, Billy Cobham and Neil Peart also use their two basses as a bass voice, almost like a bass tom-tom. There are as many different approaches as there are players!

I made the decision to use two bass drums back in 1969 (I was a Ginger Baker disciple) and over the past 50+ years I've never stopped learning new ways to employ them in the service of whatever music I'm playing. It's the most fun I can have behind the drums!

One caveat: If you do add a second bass drum (and trust me — a double pedal does not sound like two bass drums. A double pedal gives you double attack, but not the same fullness and power of two drums.), you're going to need to trade your Audi for an SUV. (And you'll need to make friends with someone who can roadie for you. ;) ) Whatever you decide, good luck, and welcome — we're glad you're playing again!
 

Rufus T Firefly

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Wow. You've been through a lot. Welcome aboard. I too am a Slingerland Spritfire snare fan. I've had one since 1979. Mine is COW. Is yours wood too or did you get the brass one?
 

Mayan

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Wow. You've been through a lot. Welcome aboard. I too am a Slingerland Spritfire snare fan. I've had one since 1979. Mine is COW. Is yours wood too or did you get the brass one?
Definitely have been through a lot in the last 10 months! And I am a very different person because of it, no question. For one thing, I picked up some drumsticks again!! But I also have a completely different perspective about pretty much everything, mostly positive. I am not a religious person, but I had become an atheist, gradually, in my adult life. And while I’m not a church goer, I definitely now do believe in a God or some sort of higher power, even if it’s an energy of sorts, something that connects humans beyond what we see and say and do, etc. Had I complained of chest pains or had an irregular heartbeat or anything else to prompt an echocardiogram when I arrived at the emergency room unable to move my legs, had they discovered the aneurism in my aorta at that time, they would have fixed my heart first. My aorta was dilated to 9.2 cm, and it should be no more than 4 cm. It was ready to break, and that would have been instant death. But I had no symptoms, and the ekg was normal. Had things happened differently and the heart surgery would have happened first, I’d be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Time was of the essence to fix my spine. Also, there were a number of things, especially in the gym, that I started doing differently in the few months leading up to the crises. I could go on and on, but knowing now that for quite some time I had a heart that was ready to explode, there are just countless times I could have dropped dead, but did not. I am a miracle and I am blessed in so many ways it is unreal. Now that my spinal cord is nearly healed, I am appreciating feeling and the ability to activate muscles that I didn’t realize I could never feel before. Such that I would have ELECTED to have the spinal fusion surgery, had I known results I’m having now were even possible. Miracle!! Four hours of spinal fusion T3 through T9, and 10 hours of open heart surgery, and 10 months later I have better posture and NO pain.

Now to your question! My spitfire is COW as well. I got a used Slingerland kit in 1992 or so, a 9 piece with the cutaway concert toms. All of those toms were unnecessary, but the price was right. It came with the spitfire snare, and it must have been from 1979 because it had the TDR strainer, not the slapshot (the spitfire only had the TDR strainer in 1979...but I’ve seen some of your posts RTFirefly, you know all of this!!). Anyway, not until recently was I aware of the history of the spitfire snare, but as soon as I started doing a little reading, a COW spitfire with the TDR strainer popped up on eBay. It was in Pottsville, PA, and I grew up in York, PA, so I bought the drum and crossed my fingers that there might be a marking or something that I remembered. Not so, but it is identical otherwise and sounds the same. I know some people dislike 12 lugs, but it doesn’t bother me. Seems to have a big range, and all of that chrome looks really sharp IMO. I’ve posted on the WANTED board as well, I’d like to find more and have a little collection.
 

blkcortex79

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Mayan,
Incredible story - glad you pulled through!! Welcome!!
 

Germandrummer

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I can understand your story quite good! I had a recurring pain in the lower back starting around 35. Sports and physiotherapy helped a little but I traced it back to much desk work or sitting in a car for hours which is my work routine. In the beginning of last year the pain got worse and I couldn`t sleep anymore and some days walking was nearly impossible. I got a new orthopedist who ordered a complete MRT scan and diagnosis was MPNST with a 6cm neuronal tumor in my pelvis. In hospital I watched drumvideos after not drumming for almost 15 years and felt a strong desire to return to the sticks. Since that I`m practising almost every day and like the little steps of progress although I`m still really bad and probably won`t get far.
But since that diagnosis last year, I`m not gonna waste a single day anymore!

All the best to you!
 

Mayan

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Well I’m so glad you got it taken care of and hopefully you don’t have too much pain, and you’re getting better each day! But get that outta your head about being bad and not getting far! I’m sure you’re not as bad as you think. And all that matters is that you’re healthy and playing again!
 


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