I’ve been keeping up with my drum playing regimen and challenging myself to learn a single song per week by listening to it for 5 minutes, jotting some notes on structure, feel, and potentially key parts. I record the performance in one take (mistakes and all) and spend some time listening back to highlight what areas I need improvement on or (heaven forbid!) what I did well!

I do this to practice my active listening skills, and really get in touch with what my body is doing during the performance vs. the final outcome. I’ve always struggled with mindfulness techniques (staying quiet some place, focusing on breathing etc) in standard settings. While playing the drums these days it has been a boon to mood, and has contributed not only to improvements to my playing but also my presence with my family and general life/mental health.

Here are some of the latest I’ve recorded:

Shout by Tears for Fears

I really enjoyed how this one turned out (and it is a great song). There is a blip at around the 2:28 mark that I’m positive is an issue with the bouncing of the track but I accept it as a performance gap on my part.

You Don’t Know How It Feels (To Be Me) by Tom Petty

What can I say about this song (and Tom Petty for that matter)? It’s a slow steady beat, a little behind the tempo (not driving) that is maintained throughout the entire song. I love the drum sound of this entire record and Steve Ferrone (of Average White Band fame among others) is an outstanding groove master. The Yamaha Rec ‘N’ Share app that I use to split instrument tracks does mess with original recording a bit (sometimes strips out too many frequencies that make the song thin or under water sounding) but certainly capable enough for me to insert my own drum track over.

In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins

This is just a snippet of the classic fill into the groove of the song. It had to be done 😂

I applied some effects and compression to try and mimic the original sound (Phil Collins uses concert toms and lots of compression in this song).