Drum Booths

Quite a bit has been going on throughout the last few days, and I thought it’d be beneficial to forgo my nightly game of Super Mario World or Madden 2006 that I end my evenings with, and actually capture a few thoughts while they’re still fresh in my mind.  This entry may be a little random and all over the place, but that’s probably how things are going in my mind at this point.

Friday Craziness

Ended up going to Denver and back in a matter of hours, arriving just in time to play my "Gig".  I left early from work on Friday, packed my drum set into my car and drove down to Denver to go to my friend Kristi’s wedding rehearsal.  It went just about the same way any wedding rehearsal goes – nothing spectacular.  My only reason for being there was so I would know when to go up and read and know how loud I need to read – they didn’t even have me go through the whole reading and just stopped me after a few lines.  I got a good dinner out of it though, plus I got to see Kristi and her sister Carrie, Kristi’s sister from New Mexico and also one of my best friends.

At that point I ducked out of Kristi’s wedding rehearsal and made my way back up to Redeemer Lutheran Church to play at the Habitat for Humanity Benefit Concert.  This concert, called "Raising Voices, Raising Walls" featured 8 groups select from area churches and featured groups from the Evangelicals, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Mennonites & Catholics.  Our choir got picked to represent the Catholic bunch.  Overall the evening went pretty well.  The numbers were maybe a bit low, but I think for the first annual event, it wasn’t too bad.  I think the biggest success from the evening was the fact that they made all these connections and inroads with the various musical groups, now all they need to do is advertise it better.

Noteworthy thoughts from Friday:

  • The law of church drum sets rang true – if a drum set belongs to a church, then it pretty much has to be crappy…  It ended up working ok though.  I still packed and brought my drum set (leaving it in the car) in case something did come up.  I did get to use my own cymbals and hardware, which turned out to be pretty good.  I still don’t understand why people put duct tape onto your drum heads.  We wall want to muffle our drums from ringing, but there’s a market full of products that will help you do just that.  You don’t need to break out the duct tape.  And if you are going to resort to tape, use electrical tape – at least it won’t leave crappy residue all over your heads.
  • I have come to loathe "drum sheilds" – these see-through plastic booths that they’ve made for drummers.  The drum set at this church had them, so we had to use it.  I managed to find a picture of one (which is posted to the right).  Basically these things are supposed to do two things: 1) Keep the drum sounds from being picked up by other mic’s 2) muffling the drum sound.  I think for most people these are moot points – 1) For most groups, especially church groups, you’re not likely to use quality mics that will pick up those sounds, or the stages are probably big enough to filter out the sound and 2) Learn to play quieter – if your technique is developed well enough you can control the dynamics.  You don’t need a crutch to hide your lack of ability to play – adding in a $500-700 contraption isn’t a solution.  I joke that the only benefit this provide is if anyone at your gig is strapping and wants to take a shot at you, you’ll be okay. This may also be useful if you’re a drummer in the witnes protection program.
  • Our choir is freakin’ good, and I’m lucky to be part of such a talented group of musicians.

Geez, that was just one day, 4 more to go..  I think I’m going to break these entries up a bit.