The kit had some prerecorded songs in it. I sat and watched him “play” along with some of the songs while he was getting used to this new adventure. I loved watching and listening. It was all fascinating.
To my surprise, after awhile, he stood up and handed me his drum sticks and said, “Do you want to try it?” I replied, “I don’t know how to play the drums.” “Neither do I,” he responded. He said, “Just take the sticks and hit the pads.” I did not want to be rude, so I sat down and “played” along with one of the songs. What happened next took both of us by surprise.
While I was playing, there was something about touching the drum pads and getting a response back. Something was responding to me! I started crying. It was a tender, life altering experience for me. I continued playing with tears rolling down my face. It was as if the drums were calling me. Neither of us knew what was happening.
My husband sat there looking at me fondly and experiencing these moments with me. When the song was finished, my husband looked at me and said, ”Well, I guess we are going to go buy another drum kit for you. Obviously you were meant to play the drums too.”
We immediately went and bought another drum kit for me.
We spent the next year reading about drums, teaching ourselves how to read drum music, learning how to count the notes, and learning to keep time using a metronome.
Then the real fun began, we started to learn to play songs. We learned one measure at a time, then one line at a time until miracle of miracles, we could play our first complete song.
Exactly a year later, we bought a full size electronic drum kit for each of us and have since learned to play several songs. (The picture at the top is my drum kit, with my husband’s sitting behind it)
I would have never dreamed in a million years I would be playing the drums. And no one who knows me would have ever guessed it either.
Playing the drums has been an awesome experience. It is the only thing I have ever done in my life that I feel as though I can own. It is something no one can ever take away from me. I worked so hard and it took a lot of perseverance to learn how to play.
The other interesting thing is that the only reason I was able to learn to play the drums is that I didn’t mind making mistakes. They didn’t bother me. I was able to laugh my way through each one. Which meant I laughed a lot and enjoyed every minute of the experience.
Being okay with making mistakes was a positive experience for me. That in itself was a huge accomplishment.
Now we play along with each song as “two extra drummers!” We can keep the time, the beat and the rhthym. It is magical playing with my husband and feeling each other’s energy while we play.
We both play so differently, which has been interesting to experience. My husband can’t read the sheet music and play at the same time. He memorizes the song and uses the sheet music as a guide. I love the structure of reading the sheet music while I play. He plays with his heels down on the bass and hi-hat pedals, while I play with my heels up. He plays by hearing the music and I play by feeling the music.
The drums have been a great emotional outlet, almost like beating a punching bag, only better!
While I never would have chosen to play the drums, l am so glad they chose me!
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The following is one of the songs we play together:
Days of Elijah by Paul Wilbur