Me too. I lost the top of two fingers on my left hand and it's never felt right. But it's my brother's fault I got into drums. He needed a drummer for his band and they had gigs!JDA said:Disliked early Guitar lessons.
Benny Goodman - great reason to play!RickP said:It was a great excuse to stop Accordion lessons. God I hated the Accordion. I heard my Dad's LP a Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall and that was it for me, I was hooked !
Vistalite Black said:My father was an anthropologist, and the travelled into the deepest jungles of the Amazon to work with the indigenous peoples there. These were tribes who had had absolutely no contact with the "civilized world." Of course, Dad brought us with him since he stayed with the Terena people for almost the whole year. After all, it took 17 days just to reach the village via floatplane, motorboat and then canoe. That's how far up the Jutai tributary they lived. In the evenings, with no TV or radio--or anything really after my Gameboy batteries died--we'd spend our nights as the Terena did--sitting by the fire, exchanging stories, sometimes singing and, of course, drumming.
Night after night, there'd be drum circles--sometimes related to religious rituals, sometimes just to pass the time and entertain our selves. Goat-skin drums, hollowed logs, handmade shakers, improvised percussion sticks from hardwoods... we used it all, and it all contributed to the rhythms that anywhere from 10 to 40 people could produce together. Sometimes, we'd drum for an hour or so, and sometimes it would be six or seven hours. As we drummed, the Terena women would dance enchantingly.
I never partook in the ayahuasca or hallucinogenic jasmine teas that set the Terena men and women completely out of their minds (because I was only 13 or 14 and my Mom wouldn't permit me to take as much as a toke of manaca). Yet, through the drumming alone--along with the fire, the dancing, the women--I also achieved transcendent states. Sometimes, it was like a trance, sometimes it was just an incredible feeling of well-being, but the drumming just make me feel high. On some nights, it was just an incredible out-of-body state that's hard to describe, except to say that very attractive Terena women would often try to lure me away from the fire (because they were so fascinated by blonde hair), but I enjoyed the drumming so much that I was sometimes a little bit reluctant to go with them, though I always did.
After four seasons in the jungle, my father's grant ran out, and the whole family had to return to the States. It seems weird, but as remote and primitive as the Terena village was--I was deeply homesick while living a somewhat privilieged suburban existence. My mother recognized this almost immediately, and when her book about the Terena was published and became a bit of a sensation in the academic world, she used the first check she got from the publisher to buy me a drum set. It was the late 70s, and she bought me exactly what I wanted, Ludwig Vistalites in black. I still have that set, and when I go down to my basement and play--along to the one cassette tape I was able to make of a Terena drum ritual before the recorder's battery wore out, I still am able to reach a state of transcendence without any drugs or alcohol whatsoever. My family thinks it's weird that I play wearing only my underwear--and that I don't play any rhythms they recognize--so I mostly play when they're not at home. In short, I drum because it connects me to the people who lived at one with the earth in a place that was very far away and very long ago.