Beat on the doldrums

3 07 2009

Jamming was fun, as usual. There weren’t as many people as we had during our “glory days,” though. We usually had up to eleven people, way more than the studio normally allowed. But at least the main instruments were there (i.e. Heron on guitar, Prox on bass, and me on drums) so we pulled it off, playing the songs we used to play and some new ones. Even though nobody was singing, or Allan was singing off-beat, it was fine. I guess we were used to that situation. Since Jen left we never really had a proper or permanent vocalist, so us instruments relied on our personal knowledge of the songs rather than depending on a voice.

We worked our way through the old “pondo” of songs, though not all of them: Stone Temple Pilots’ “Plush”, Creed’s “Higher”, Lifehouse’s “Blind”, Skid Row’s “I Remember You”, Sponge Cola’s “KLSP” and “Pasubali”, Sandwich’s “Betamax”, and Alamid’s “Prinsesa”. Then there were some that we haven’t tried before: Eraserheads’ “Alapaap”,  and Itchyworms’ “Gusto Ko Lamang Sa Buhay”, and for the first time we were able to finish “Beer” (which makes me wonder when will we ever finish “Sweet Child o’ Mine”).

I played surprisingly well, considering the fact that prior to the day before (Thursday) I haven’t touched my drums for months. Of course I did play safe; mostly staying away from complicated rolls and sixteenth beats, except in some cases, particularly on the Itchyworms songs where Jazz Nicolas magic was integral to the melodies. I really had to use all the drums and cymbals to produce an effect which hopefully imitates the original.

One thing that I realize over and over again since I’ve started playing with a band was that it really feels different, as opposed to practicing alone. Prior to this scheduled session I’ve been feeling nervous that because of my lack of practice I would mess up the whole night with unrehearsed madness. I have experienced some bad jamming nights in the past, and I was afraid it was likely to happen again. But when I was there in the hot seat I felt good, and I don’t think I played badly at all. I did make mistakes and made up a lot of stuff, but overall I kept my beats, which is essentially what I’m there for. Maybe it’s because I’m stepping my game up so as not to disappoint anybody, or maybe I simply enjoy myself a lot more with friends around. Whatever it is, I play better on jamming sessions than by myself at home.

In the end I felt elated that I could still play decently despite the total lack of practice. It’s an epiphany for me, and a great confidence boost. Now I’m excited to dust off the ol’ Blackbird (yes, I named my Gretsch Black Hawk), take out the Zildjian David Chambers artist series (my oldest sticks), and FLY.

here’s the two photos Allan took. Sheesh.

SDC10348I had to stop because the guys were tuning their guitars

SDC10349Prox, Heron, Cindy (and kuya Herry)

In relation to the title of this post, “Beat on the doldrums” is a line from the Eraserheads’ song “MonoVirus”. I’ve always thought that doldrums was a type of drum, like snare, bass, tom toms, etc. WRONG. Apparently, “doldrums” is a state of calm or stagnation, particularly in reference to equatorial winds.

sources: [1] [2]




One response

5 07 2009
Foodie Kids « everyday bananas

[…] 4 07 2009 After class, jamming, overnight at Makati, a fire, seeing both my baby godsons, an interior design visit, and a two […]

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