All-female percussion and noise ensemble, Secret Drum Band, is playing a live show by the pool at Ace Hotel & Swim Club this Sunday, followed by a DJ set in the Amigo Room til the wee hours. The group is made up of major rhythmic luminaries including Rachel Blumberg of M. Ward and many other projects, Heather Treadway of the epic and now retired Explode Into Colors and Lisa Schonberg of STLS. Do yourself a favor and come see this percussive wonderland take place in the desert, echoing off the San Jacintos.
Lisa wrote a DIY-drum teaching zine in 2001, excerpted below. She’ll probably let you try your hand on the cymbals if you ask on Sunday night. And if you want to stay over after the show, get a deal on your room here.
I was teaching drums at the time and took a book-binding class, and wanted to bind my own book. I have always loved teaching drums, and thought most drum instruction books were rather intimidating and bland, so making this book made perfect sense to me. A second and third edition followed, both handmade, and eventually buyolympia released a fourth. The fifth edition is coming out on M’Lady’s Records next month!
Here are some drumming tips that I think are pretty important:
1. Keep your grip and arms loose; don’t tense up.
2. If you are finding something difficult, slow it down & break it down into its elements.
3. Make sure you are comfortable at the kit, that your seat is at a good height, and that your drums are set up in a way that is easiest to access.
4. Don’t think about any of it too much — trust your muscle memory.