Getting Real: My Sh*tty Year of Drumming (so far)

So you’ve read the title and you might be wondering what the hell I’m going on about. Or if you follow my Twitter closely you might know what I’m talking about. Or you might not care. Probably the last one to be honest. However I am going on a much needed rant about my shitty year in drumming as of far.

And yes I know I have done a post about injuries and shit before but I don’t care…enjoy!

This is going to be fun…

January

So for Christmas I got a new pair of drumsticks from my sister. Vic Firth 5As in black just like I asked and this made me very excited. Before this point I had been using a pair of 5As but really terrible quality and I love Vic Firth sticks, there isn’t a brand out there better in my opinion. So when I got the new pair of sticks I was very keen to get drumming but there was the bummer that is Mock exams so I had to focus on them rather than drumming. In fact I barely touched my drums during this time because of my parents being on my back.

5As

The day of my last Mock exam (12th January) – and it was an IT exam in case you are interested – I went to dance that night and pulled a muscle in my back. Quite badly.

It would have been smart to let it heal but instead that weekend I decided to finally try out these new sticks and have a crack at a list of songs that I wanted to learn. Bad idea. The worse idea I probably could have had…ever.

So I was pain for a long time, including on my 18th but it started to get better because I was finally resting it and dosing up on pain relief like an addict but I was hopeful that I would be drumming properly before the month was up.

Nope!

I went to a small Kaiser Chiefs gig at Asylum in Birmingham which was incredible. Best gig ever blah blah blah. But I screwed my back even more. Yay…

February

ice-pack.jpg
My Saviour

February was a long month (ironic because it is the shortest) of resting my back, missing dance class and doing school work. Rather uneventful especially on the drumming side (but I did get new sticks; Vic Firth 85As) AND I went to another Kaiser Chiefs gig in Birmingham at the end of the month which again made my back worse.

March

This month kicked off with another Kaiser Chiefs gig in Leeds where I spent the weekend. I promise this was the last KC gig I went to. I swear. I’m not obsessed…one gig was free, another had been planned since last year and the trip to Leeds was my 18th birthday present. But you guessed it…my back. Gigs aren’t good for my back!

When I got back to the hotel I was in a lot of pain and actually met another KC fan in the lift who was saying that she was in pain because of a problem with her knee so I sympathised and we were in pain together. Great Saturday night I know!

We are three months in and I am sure you can already tell that this blog post is just one big moan. It is getting on my whits to be honest!

March all in all was pretty hectic because of a lot personal stuff that went on. In fact, besides the trip to Leeds, I would quite like to wipe the whole month from my memory. Oh and there was little to no drumming but I think I did manage a day or maybe two where I learnt Demons by Spring KingOne More Last Song by Kaiser Chiefs and Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time by Panic! at the Disco. So on the drum front it wasn’t all terrible

April

A month filled with revision sessions and revision. Fun fun fun. My back had recovered but I was just so busy that not much time was left for drumming. I did drum on and off for a few days before I went on holiday to Portugal (where I took my drumsticks because I felt in a good place and didn’t want to leave them behind) and I learnt some new songs too: Detroit and Rectifier by Spring KingKeeping Your Head Up by BirdyPlug In Baby by Muse (revisited) and I’m sure I learnt and Ed Sheeran song but I don’t remember which. That is how much I cared aha.

May

My exams started so revision was my main priority. I was so annoyed though because I had barely drummed so far this year and I still hadn’t mastered bloody Ruffians! People who know me know about bad relationships to this track. Anyway so I decided that enough was enough and I was going to drum in between revising subjects or whatever.

So I did.

In fact towards the end of May on the 29th I took a day off to relax which included drumming but the next day I woke up in such pain in the same area of my back. At this point I had realised that perhaps drumming isn’t for me, perhaps I have screwed up my back so much that I will never be able to do the activity I love without any pain. I was pretty upset and took to Twitter questioning how Vijay Mistry (from Kaiser Chiefs) didn’t have a bad back all of the time.

He sent me back some advice about my setup so spent an hour or so taking my time to adjust my kit.

This has helped a little. I do feel more comfortable whilst drumming, there is no debate about that but it is sort of too late. My back will forever be a pain.

June

I’d might as well skip June. This was all exams until the 26th so no to drumming but the day after I finished I spent a lot of time with my drums. Because I miss not playing, I really do and I am definitely more frustrated when I don’t play.

July

*sighs* right here we are. To now. It is the 22nd of June, I finished my holiday yesterday and have come back home but I can’t drum.

Before I went away I was battling though any back pain and was spending a lot of time in my converted garage where my kit, keyboard and (new) guitar are to play. To have fun. Played a bunch of stuff from many genres and was really enjoying myself.

Going away – even without my sticks this time – was hard and after two nights I was seriously missing it and was getting quite frustrated. That night I even had a bit of a wobble not necessarily about this but it definitely contributed. That day I also fell over injuring my wrist. Well done me.

Now the injury itself wasn’t too bad but I was stupid enough to not let it heal. You would have thought that my experience with my back injury back in January would have taught me something but no apparently not. The next day I played cricket and golf so I was in a lot of pain and still am.

It is all wrapped up tightly but the pain is constant.

Why am I going on about this?

I am not trying to get people to feel sorry for me. It is just shit and it is my fault but you’ve read this post, it has been a terrible year so far so you would probably understand my frustrations. Understand why I am wondering whether I should bother with the other five months of the year.

This just all makes me want to quit.

dance
My dance teacher and I

I can cope with one setback, maybe two but this continuous streak of injuries and being pain is just no longer feeling worth it. I don’t do dance anymore, had my last session a few weeks back so that means there is less pressure on my back but even when I play it hurts.

If I want to go through life with as little pain as possible then the sensible thing would be to leave the drums be. Say it has been fun but it isn’t working out. And I’m tempted at this second in time but it is hard.

I am so reliant on my drums. Some people know that. If I don’t have that then what do I have?

So right now I don’t have a solution. I wish there were wise people out there willing to give me one but that would probably involve pestering people. So I am just going to stay silent…sort of…not really because this is a very public blog post.

My decision would have to entail picking drums over pain-free or pain-free over drums and it is going to be a tough one to make.

Back Bandage

 

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