Breaks Over, Part 4: The Curriculum

I’m semi-retired now. This means I can get away with setting my own schedule for a little while longer.

I’ve finally gotten back into playing music. And as if guitar and piano weren’t enough, I decided I wanted to learn the basics of drumming as well. I’ve had a practice pad and a couple of pair of drumsticks for quite some time. Might as well put them to use!

Between all this, photography, learning about social media presence, and writing, I can be quite busy. In a lot of ways, I felt like I was back in school. A university of one. I started calling it CirdecSongs University. And lucky for me, tuition was relatively cheap.

My music making friends have lives of their own. When they’re not at their day jobs, they’re rehearsing or recording with their own bands. They don’t have a ton of time to spend giving me lessons. If I was to have some form of success, I would need a couple of textbooks.

I looked up the highest regarded beginner piano books. And there I saw just what I needed: a book geared for people my age.

Four drummers — solicited on different days in different places — all told me the same thing: if you’re gonna play the drums, you must start here.

Lucky for me, my guitar book was already in the house. I have a few, but this one covered all the bases and thereby had the most appeal. I’m fact, it’s been on my shelf since 2003.

Eventually, I also remembered a fact of 21st century research: if you want to know about it, check YouTube. It’s there. Sure enough, there are a metric TON of tutorials awaiting my consumption. My only problem was trying to decide whose advice made the most sense when contradictory advice was given. For me, it came down to basic logic and comfort.

The next question: which “class” would I spend the most time studying. The answer came quite quickly. Guitar was my first love, so there was Priority One, with piano running a close second. There are no drums in the house anyway. And there won’t be for quite some time.

With all those decisions made, it was just a question of making time for everything. I have devised the perfect day that allows me to meditate, exercise, research, and write. Making music is an end-of-the-day treat, assuming I wasn’t headed out for a gig. Or, it would be something I did heavily on the weekends.


Now if you’ll pardon me, class is in session. I need to get to it.


Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (cirdecsongs) My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers. I’m currently working on my next book, The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell.

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