Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Horrible Winter for Cycling Has Been a Good Winter for Drumming

In November and December, I was able to make it up to Indy two or three times each week for indoor cycle training at Brooks Integrative Training. But the weather has been so awful since the start of January that I've only been able to get up there on occasion. Add in a pair of hernias that required surgery and, most recently, a bout of the flu and it's fair to say that it's been a miserable winter for cycling.

For that reason, and because I more or less suddenly developed an interest in getting back to it, I started banging on the drums again seriously for the first time since I started law school in the first half of the 1980s. After purchasing a few select parts and accessories, I've got both of my vintage Gretsch sets up and sounding great (even if the drummer is not very good), including my Progressive Jazz (round badge) set from around 1970 and my Broadcaster II rock set from the later '70s. I've paired the jazz set with vintage Zildjian cymbals, including a 22" heavy ride, an 18" sizzle (with rivets all the way round), and 13" hi-hats. The rock set is paired with vintage Paiste 2002 (black labels), including a 20" medium ride, 18" and 16" crashes, and 14" hi-hats. I just recently bought a cute little 10" splash cymbal (also a Paiste 2002, but a newer red label).

Here's a view of the entire music room:

You can see that both sets of drums are white. The jazz set, when I first got it, was Aqua Satin Flame (as on the right), which was pretty psychedelic. Sometime around 1980, I had Gretsch recover them (and change out the tom-mounting hardware) to match the other set.

Here are close-ups of each set:

I enjoy playing both sets, but I have to say that the old round badge Gretsch jazz drums just sound so sweet. I've also bought several new practice pads for home and office, so I can get in some practice on rudiments, whenever I take a break from reading, writing, and class preps.

I imagine that when warmer weather finally arrives, cycling will take up most of my spare time, and the drums will get less attention. But I do hope to keep at it.

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