Howdy and welcome to the first of an ongoing series of “Drum Diaries.” I’ve recently started keeping closer track not only of my practice time, but also some health statistics collected relevant to my playing – heart rate, blood sugar, time on the chair, and song lists. Since this is the first one, today we’ll have a bit of extra info to get rolling – I’ll probably roll all this stuff into a separate FAQ-type page at some point, but right now I just wanna go and make it happen.
Health statistics are collected with the Samsung Health app on my phone and, when I bother, a blood glucose meter. Blood oxygen is expressed as a percentage, measured by a pulse oximeter on the phone; normal range is 95-99. I am diabetic and treating with metformin; 90 mg/dL for me is getting close to passing out.
I also use the health app to measure calories burned by treating the exercise as “aerobics,” I believe this is a simple calories per minute calculation and is probably at least somewhat questionable. I also leave my phone in my right pocket to measure “steps.” Again, this is a somewhat questionable method, but at least gives me some notion of how much exercise I’m getting.
Finally, I’ll be making an effort to assemble a YouTube playlist of all the songs I’ve played each day, so readers can listen along if they want.
- Heart Rate: 73 beats per minute
- Blood oxygen: 95%
- Blood Sugar: 119
Songs & Comments
- Kiss – 100,000 Years (Studio version)
- Yeah, I know. But Kiss is where I got my real start playing hard rock music, and in spite of all the crap you hear about Peter Criss he has some really groovy little left-hand chops on the earlier stuff that makes it both fun to play and good exercise. Attentive drummers will notice this beat is almost identical to “Detroit Rock City,” just slower.
- Led Zeppelin – Good Times, Bad Times
- Needs no explanation. No, I can’t get the bass drum tricks all right, this is largely because of my kit (see the as yet unwritten FAQ)
- Badfinger – Day After Day
- Besides being one of my favorite songs, the drums on this fascinate me because Mike Gibbins is one of the few drummers who “fills like Ringo,” in that he plays like a left-handed drummer on a right-handed kit. Again, difficult to explain to someone who’s not a drummer, but listen to the tom fills on this and you might pick up what I’m talking about
- Van Halen – I’ll Wait
- A classic rock drummer’s song. Outside of “Hot for Teacher,” Alex Van Halen is probably one of the most underrated drummers in the business.
- Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
- About the third time I’ve ever played this song
- Kansas – Carry On
- A fun exercise
- Alice Cooper – Welcome To My Nightmare
- Another song that’s quite a bit more jazzy/swingy than it gets credit for, especially with all the tom accents. One day I’ll actually learn it instead of faking it.
- Manfred Mann – Blinded by the Light
- About the fourth or fifth time I’ve played this in the last decade or so. It gets pretty fun with all the fills and breakdowns.
- Cheap Trick – Surrender
- Easy and fun and a lil tribute to my buddy Dan, whose old band Four Peace used to cover this in super-punk-thrash style and blow it out.
- Steely Dan – Do It Again (drumless)
- Steve Gadd is unquestionably a monster, and very few drummers can stay in a pocket and still play with as much taste as he does. Naturally it’s not possible for one person to play all the side percussion in this, but it’s got just enough room to play around with, and the laid-back groove is fun to noodle around in during the solos and outro.
- Heart Rate: 108bpn
- Blood ox: 99%
- Sugar: 108
- Steps: 6187
- Calories: 444
- Total time: 53:33 (includes downtime between songs)