I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t looking forward to drum lessons tonight.
I’d been out of town since Friday night, and just got back in last night. Since I hadn’t been near a drum kit, I couldn’t practice. After all my promises of improving, here I was showing up without having had practiced a beat.
I felt shame.
I’d sent my drum teacher an email giving him a head’s up about my lack of practice. I dragged my feet into lessons, sitting on the drum throne with dread. “Do you want to start off with ‘Bridge Burning?'” he asked. “I mean, it’s kind of a hard song to start off with without a warm-up, but you’ve been doing really well with it.”
Then he looked at me and said, “You know, I brag about you. I tell people that when you started with me, you didn’t know very much about drumming at all. And now here you are playing Foo Fighter songs.” I felt so happy with these words. I then apologized profusely, telling him how badly I’d felt last week going to lessons without practicing first.
“Don’t ever feel like you are letting me down when you don’t practice,” he said. “You’re not a junior high student. I understand that you have a job and a life. You just do what you can. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s something my friends and family tell me time and time again, but I never listen.
The lesson was very fun after that. We played “Bridge Burning,” and I felt like I played it with more vigor and energy than I had in awhile. I learned the first line of “Tom Sawyer.” YEAHHHHHHH. That’s not really progress since it’s like eight pages long, but whatever.
I learned that all you can do is your best. As long as I make drumming fun and not a chore, then I will always enjoy it.