“Late Starter” – – – – –

– – – as the talented Americana Singer songwriter Guy Tortora put’s it,  ” – – – – I’m a late starter, wasn’t built for speed. A little encouragement is all I need, Started late, but I’m catching up. It’s gonna take a river just to fill my cup ! – – “

Well that  sums it up beautifully for me on where i’m ‘at’ currently  playing the Drums – –

A little background first; I picked up the sticks for the first time when I was just over 40 (mid-life crisis ? maybe, but I figured it was safer than a motorbike ! ) not long after processing personal bereavement & managing low mood Initial lessons lead to first playing in public after 6 weeks – – one of the most exhilarating & petrifying experiences I’ve ever had ! After years of going to Gigs I suddenly got a whole new perspective on performing & it gave me total respect for anybody who has the nerve to get up on a stage ( no matter what size) & strut their stuff !

With unconditional support & encouragement from my wife, Gill, I set out on the lifelong trail of hard work to develop as a drummer.

10 years on – What have I found out from my experience so far ? ( I’ve found that most of these also apply to many other parts of our lives !)

1. Learning ‘how to learn’ ( I’ll explore this one a bit more in the next Blog !)

2. the more you think you know, the less you actually know !

3. there are many ways to approach & break down a problem, and to resolve it.

4. Hard persistent work pays off, but learn when to back off a problem and let your sub-conscious work it out for you.

5.The right teachers / tutors at the right time can transform your craft – – not the gear !

6. Be influenced & admire other players – comparison is pointless – we are all on our own trajectories and everybody has their own unique style, skills and valid contribution to make .

7. Learning this skill has improved both my mental & physical state – relaxation & co-ordination.(more on this another time – – ) Don’t put all your energy into the one pursuit –  a balanced life creates a fertile ground for all your pursuits.

8.A creative endeavour involves a combination of many skills – organisation, diplomacy, marketing, interpersonal skills, empathy, teamwork – – – the actual creative bit is the icing on the cake !

9. For me, drumming is about making music with other people. I’ve found that the development of Technique supports that goal – it’s very easy for that pursuit to become  the purpose of the exercise itself, and to get completely bogged down with it – I acknowledge the skill and dedication of those players who follow that path, but it’s not for me.

10. Because I started late there is an assumption made that “I’ve been there, done that” – – I haven’t – – –  and I’m not content to rest on my laurels, always looking for fresh challenges – – – so watch out “–I’m catching up. It’s gonna take a river just to fill my cup ! – – “

11.Enjoy it !!

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Where to begin – – – ?

Well here I am embarking on another step in my musical journey

“What have you been doing up to now and what’s new about this then ? ” I hear you ask  – –

Here’s a quick run down of my drumming  journey so far – –

  • from school age to now a regular gig goer – list of gig’s to follow sometime ?
  • August  2004 picked up  drumsticks for the first time
  • October 2004 played in public at Blues Jam, Half Moon Bishops Stortford  first time. One of the most nerve wracking things I’ve ever done !
  • created & promoted St Albans Blues club ‘Shades of Blues’ at The Maltings Arts Theatre, March 2006 to April 2009  ( run in from Sept.2005)
  • 2007 handful of gigs with ‘Life of Riley’ local covers band
  • 2008 formed ‘Dr Shades’ Blues band from audience members to ‘Shades of Blues’
  •  November 2008 ‘Dr Shades’ debut at The White Lion, St Albans.
  • Sept. 2012 to July 2013 ‘Shades of Blues’ series 2 !
  • Dec. 2013 Dep. drummer for Roadhouse at the Famous Monday Blues , Oxford xmas party !
  • July 2013 ‘Dr Shades’ band re-branded as ‘Chris Lord & her Blues Express’

– – – – – – LATEST NEWS – – – – – – – – –

October 2014 Decided that the time is now right to leave ‘ Blues express’ to free up time & headspace to pursue other avenues of music & playing experiences to broaden my knowledge & abilities on the kit.

So besides being on the look out for fresh challenges, going to jam nights, folks to play with etc. I reckon that getting to grips with Blogging, Facebook and social networks are all part of ‘getting out there’ – –

So bring on 2015 and let’s see where I get to musically !