Confessions of a Delinquent Music Student – A Restoration

I have not updated on my drumming endeavors for awhile.  That’s because, for awhile, I wasn’t really feeling a passion for them.  To be fair, I was pretty busy this summer.  I was doing a lot of field work, including a periodic job where I would have to drive at least 8 hours and hike 2-4 miles every day for a seven day shift.  I took a break from drum lessons then. After the field work died down, I got Apollo, and I’ve pretty much blocked out the first month I had him.  I can deal with his crazy hyperness now, but that first month?  Oh God, so many tears.

(Like in the past five minutes, he has wrestled with his bunny toy angrily, bit me on the hand, started humping his bunny while simultaneously biting it, then rolled off the couch accidentally as he licked his genitals.  This is all normal to me now.)

I resumed lessons in September and was wrestling with the idea of quitting lessons ever since.  I wasn’t practicing very much anymore and I just wasn’t feeling the passion I used to.

Two weeks ago, I arrived to the lesson still feeling contemplative.  Michael told me to go warm up and I went inside to practice “Heartbreaker.”  It had been awhile since I practiced.  But the longer I was playing, the more fun I was having.  I knew I sounded decent.  I felt happy and excited behind the kit, and I felt like a legitimate drummer.

The next hour of the lesson proved to be both the most challenging and enjoyable lesson I’ve probably ever had.  Michael gave me the sheet music to “When the Levee Breaks,” which includes this fun passage:

Whyyyy John Bonham whyyyy

I have to say, for a long time, I didn’t get what the big deal about John Bonham was.  I feel almost embarrassed admitting that.  It’s almost like saying you don’t understand why Faulkner or Shakespeare are so revered.  But after learning more Led Zeppelin pieces, I’m like, “YEP. I GET IT NOW.”

For instance, that passage starts around the 2:30 mark.  All the crazy bass drumming footwork is around the part where Robert Plant starts wailing kind of incoherently.  I wouldn’t have known about that technique had I not learned the sheet music for it.  It’s made me appreciate both the subtlety and power that Bonham brings to his drumming.  He is Dave Grohl’s main influence, which makes sense, because Dave Grohl REALLY loves using the bass pedal too.

I left the lesson feeling inspired.  It feels good to be excited about drumming again, and it felt great to be able to learn and play the passage correctly after practicing it last week.

Stay tuned for additional music-related items I am (very) excited for.


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