We are having a great Friday at the Don Hamrick Drum Center enjoying the wake of Tropical Storm Andrea and her alternating bursts of downpours, sun and wind! Lots of people are coming in to get their drum fix today instead of being drenched on the beach here in OD! I am also at the Don Hamrick Drum Center, working hard on rudiments. I am not a beginning drummer, but I’ve been away from my sticks for a while so it’s important that I sharpen the skills I learned in the beginning. As I practiced on my practice pad, I noticed my left hand is much weaker than I remember it being, especially with single stroke rolls which are so basic but a necessary foundational skill. With Don’s advice I’ve changed to a 5A stick from my former 7A. I find the stick fits better in my hand and gives me more control because it is a little bigger and heavier than the 7A. I’ve also changed to an oval tip from an acorn tip for a better sound on the cymbals. Last night I was thinking about my goal to get back into playing drums and I realized that I needed to have a measurable goal. So my goal is to play drums with a church band by this time next year which would be June 2014. I have never performed with other musicians before. I’ve only jammed with Don and played along with CDs, so this is a big goal for me. Don says that I can be ready in a year to play with a band if I routinely practice the things he is teaching me so that is what I am doing. I used to skip practicing when life got in the way, which seemed to happen quite frequently. Before long I wasn’t practicing at all. I wasn’t practicing because I was letting other things take priority, so I had to change that. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that we must do that we cannot skip to practice drums like going to work and taking your child to the doctor. What I did was I looked at how I spent my time each day and decided what things I was doing that weren’t productive. I have eliminated the things that I would spend time on that weren’t productive for me such as surfing the web, reading the news online more than once a day, spending time on Facebook, watching TV, sleeping in, etc. and I am using this time to practice drums.This sounds so easy to do, but keeping it up is probably not going to be! I have looked at some bios of drummers that I would like to be like, such as Cindy Blackmon, Sheila E. and my own husband, Don Hamrick. One thing that they all have in common is that they treat their drumming like a job. If you read about these drummers or any other notable drummer, you will probably find that they spend many hours a day practicing. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be the drummers that they are. So it would be impossible for me to be anything like these drummers if I didn’t practice at least as much as they do everyday. It is a huge commitment and will require sacrifice and perseverance, probably more than I even realize right now. I am up for the challenge because the thoughts of being able to play in a band is exciting, especially when I watch other drummers perform. What I’ve found sometimes is that I lose this feeling of excitement during the monotony and frustration of practice. In order for me to keep the excitement which fuels my motivation, I balance practice time with time spent observing other drummers performing or just talking to them. Ok all you drummers and drummer want-to-be’s out there I have begun my challenge and I invite you to join me! Do something today that will ignite the drummer within you! Come and hang out at the Don Hamrick Drum Center, 503 A Main Street, North Myrtle Beach, call Don Hamrick today (843) 273-0578 to set up a lesson or just to chat, or find a drum mentor that inspires you and get drumming!