Rudimental Drumming

Update on myself
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Author:  James_Christian [ Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:47 am ]
Post subject:  Update on myself

I apologize for not posting on here in a while. Rick recently posted an update on his playing status. I thought I might as well do the same. First of all, congratulations to Rick on successfully hiking up Mt. Ranier. I did a bit of hiking when I was in the Marines, and it did a number on my feet. I know that hiking isn't easy. I can only imagine the amount of preparation that went into it.

As for me, over the past several months, I've had two major drumming-related events that have taken up a lot of my time. First of all, I finally finished writing my tenor book. From start to finish, the project took me over ten years. As I got closer to the end, I devoted almost all of my free time to getting it finished. I feel like I came up with something full of really useful content. As it currently stands, the book is 365 pages long. It's the closest thing to an exhaustive book on multi-tenor drumming that I am aware of. I'm in the process of exploring publishing options. Hopefully it will be out some time over the next year. I'll post more as soon as there is anything definite to report.

The second thing that has taken a lot of my time is writing this year's show for the high school drum line I teach. After I finished writing music in late July, I immediately started teaching the drum line camps (which has been exhausting in the Texas heat). A few years ago when I started teaching, Ryan had said on this message board that he wanted to see video. I have posted a few things every now and then. But as anyone who has taught knows, it takes time to build up a line to the standard you want it to be at. I feel like this year is really going to reach a new level for the students. Every year, I've always been fortunate to have some good keyboard players, but I've struggled to get consistency in the battery. We've always had just the right number of players, but it has always felt scary. If just one player got hurt, decided to quit, etc., we would be in a difficult spot. In the past, I've just barely had enough students who could play snare or tenors. I've always had some good general percussionists, and they have been good bass players, but it wasn't necessarily their instrument. This year, I have about seven drummers who in past years would have easily made the snare line. So things are really starting to come together. I have some really good snare and tenor players, and all of the bass players are quite good as well--and several of them really love bass drum. We are learning the Bridgemen's "The Pursuit of the Lady in the Feathered Hat" as a fun thing to play at football games, and our show has a lot of content as well. Basically, I'm having a lot of fun working with some really good high school players. It's very rewarding, but quite time intensive.

Incidentally, for those who would like to see video of the line I have been teaching, here is our show from two years ago. Aside from one obvious visual flub in the snares toward the end, it was a pretty solid performance.

Now that some of my big projects are done, I will hopefully have a little more time to post on here more regularly in the weeks and months to come.


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