The snow and cold temperatures are slowly changing into sunny days while the signs of spring are peeking through the earth. Much like the changes of the season indicate a new cycle has begun, many drummers are beginning to feel the familiar urge to get back into some serious drumming. These are the drummers that may have used the colder weather to practice in a more private manner, or who were unable to drum as much during winter due to holiday obligations or just the slower pace of life throughout the season. With spring emerging, it’s time to warm back up and get those drums ready for a fantastic 2012 drum season!
Winter may be one of the more typical times that people use to rejuvenate and revive, through a lack of physical and mental activity. That is, people intentionally slow down when the duration of sunlight is less abundant, and drummers are not immune to this period of hibernation. For the drummer who has spent a few months soaking up the sights and sounds of winter can certainly use a refresher course in stretches and flexibility exercises before hitting the skins. Remembering the basics of drumming, including foundational rhythms and drills can help the brain engage, and ultimately enhance the muscle memory connection a drummer has with a favorite drum. Motivating the drummer can be as simple as playing a favorite song and drumming along, or presenting a new song full of challenge and adventure.
For the drum itself, after a few months of rest, spring is a great time to bring it back to life with some basic care and maintenance steps. Drum heads on a Djembe or other animal skin drum are susceptible to the changes in temperature and sunlight, and may need to be lightly lubricated and tuned back into shape. Metal hardware should be inspected for signs of rust, corrosion or breakage and repaired or replaced accordingly. Drum shells, too, should be inspected for any cracks or breaks that can happen due to storage or weather-related concerns, and any additional tools (drum sticks or mallets, straps, etc.) should be examined for any defects or wear and tear from previous use.
Spring is a great time to resume a drumming habit, or make a commitment to the health, wellness and fun that drumming can bring. Take some time and get your mind, body and drum ready for the warmer weather, step outside, and welcome the newness of spring as only a drummer truly can.