Month: September 2019

Making the final push in the last 4 months of 2019

Dear all,

It’s been about 3 months since my last post. I hope all of you are well, productive, and contented.

I’ve just entered what is likely my third to last semester in my university course. The last semester was a success and I’m very happy with the results I got. I look back with fondness on the pressure I felt during last semester to work even harder especially on the essay assignments. As there were no pre-class quizzes which made up 10% of the overall grade, the essay assignments alone carried 50% of the overall grade. I felt the pressure to really score as well as I could on every single essay assignment. I probably grew a few more white hairs because of this, haha..

That was school. Then came the 2 month break after the exams, which I totally enjoyed. I was getting back into exercise, watching my diet more closely, going to more concerts, movies, and making a list of things I wanted to learn and practice. In that list, I wanted to learn more about Indian Classical rhythmic cycles and appreciate the differences of that between North Indian Classical music and South Indian classical music; work on my vocals as I’m doing quite a bit of singing lately with my new Beatles tribute project. More on that later; brushing up my metric modulation abilities and bass drum technique.I managed to complete almost of all these goals in the list except finding an organization to volunteer in. I’m a little disappointed with myself on that but I’m still working on it.

Now with the Beatles tribute project. I got together with the bass player from another band I played in who is a Beatles fan (or maniac), a guitarist from yet another band I played in who is also a Beatle fan (maniac), and an exceptional guitarist, bassist, and singer from the Philippines who’s working here, and he is a total Beatle maniac than the other three of us combined! It’s a blessing to have him with us and this is just another fun band to be in. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but we’re having fun working the Beatles’ catalogue and trying our very very best to be as close as we can in sound, feel, and standard to the original recordings. A tall order for us considering our individual limitations as singers.

This is our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BeatlemaniacsSingapore/.

On behalf of the band, I hope that you like the material. We’re in the midst of securing gigs in future. We just did an open mic session on the 26th of August to test how we sound in front of a live audience and what the latter’s reaction would be. Warts and all in our set, along with technical kinks particularly with one of the guitar amps, we had very positive feedback from the audience! You can see pictures and videos from that performance on the facebook page.

I guess you can infer from what I’m sharing above, that I’m moving towards playing more the music that I want to play with the people I truly enjoy making music with. It started as early as late 2015, and it’s now becoming a reality. I’m very contented and consider myself blessed to be in this position.

Having said that, I also managed to take part in two recording sessions in June! One was for Wong Kah Chun (https://www.facebook.com/kahchun.music/) for an original Rock song he composed with a school helping special needs kids. I helped him assemble the bass, guitar, drums lineup, and we found a keyboardist to complete the rhythm section. Kah Chun recently sent me a rough mix of the song we recorded with a brass section and classical percussion now added. It was amazing!

The other recording session I took part in was for a recording engineer working at Lasalle. He was able to get some studio time from the school’s excellent recording facility, and I laid down drum tracks there for two of his original Rock guitar instrumental compositions to be put out as an EP some time end of this year or early in 2020. That was another very enjoyable experience. The highlight  was I got to use my 2015-acquired pre-serial badge Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum. It just sounded amazing when I heard the playbacks. 16 Beat Drums helped me refurbish it and install new heads, and they did a great job. I just used the drum in the studio as how they set it up. Not a single lug on that drum was touched by a key. Beautiful tone. That’s my snare sound which I found in the Supraphonic. Again, I consider myself blessed that fellow musicians still remember me for recording work. It’s an honour to contribute to their music. Thank you all!

Now that the new school semester has kicked in in late July, I’m driven and determined to do even better than last semester. I love being a student again! Along with that, I haven’t stopped loving the routine of practice and improving my drumming. I do miss  the 3 to 5 hour practice sessions, but I think I gained alot more in terms or organizing and focusing better my practice sessions with much shorter time periods. Besides, I don’t consider myself in competition with any other drummer.

This is all for now. Till the next post, take care!

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