Friday, January 13, 2023

Weekly Wisdom

I just finished a book by one of my favorite authors, and fellow Pittsburgher, David McCullough.  It was about some of the pioneers who left New England to start settling western lands of the US, in this case specifically along the Ohio River.  It's an excellent book, aptly titled, The Pioneers, if you're interested.

A quote from one of the settlers really stood out to me:

Count the day lost at which the setting sun sees at its close no worthy action done.

I was quickly reminded that it's waaaay too easy these days to waste our short time on frivolity, and if want to do something - in my case be the best drummer I can be - then we should get our heads down and get on with it.  I'll be remember this one on days where I'm tempted to not practice, or I find myself wasting perfectly good time on social media.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Allison Miller's post-Christmas work out

Allison Miller posted this exercise on Instagram the other day to "reconnect the four limbs after not playing during the holidays", and I've really been enjoying as I took an extra long break from my usual practice routine this Christmas.

Allison explains that she's been doing this exercise for 20 years as a way to "connect with [her] ride cymbal better and ... understand the connection between the four limbs".

It's quarter note triplets played as paradiddles between the right foot and left hand, starting first on the downbeat, then on the second partial of the triplet, and finally the third.  For brevity I've just jotted them all down one after another, but Allison puts four bars of improvised time between each one.