Wednesday, March 14, 2012

May as well jump in with both feet

I've been away from the music scene for some years. Something to do with devastating ear damage. Who knew? Anyway, a recent discovery on my part is that there is hope for people with tinnitus, hyperacusis and recruitment. Tinnitus is a major annoyance, but the recruitment was a show stopper for me. It meant that my pain threshold dropped from the normal 120 dB to as low as 90 dB. But I learned of an approach lately that seeks to recondition the ears to tolerate noise. So I'm sitting here with ear-buds in playing pink noise that's just slightly less loud than my tinnitus. The regimen calls for 24/7 exposure but I'm not sure I can listen to pink noise that much. The tinnitus is bad enough.

In the meantime, I'm back to banging around on my old set in the basement and have dragged out my old drum studies material. Ironically, I gave away a heap of classic drum instruction books not too many months ago assuming I'd never be able to look at them again. Now I may end up re-buying them. What has me most buzzed it that I've discovered all the original material from when I studied with Jim Blackley, Claude Ranger and Paul deLong. Lots of incredible material that will keep me busily 'reviewing' for quite some time. I thought the Blackley stuff was brilliant years ago and today it looks like he's still ahead of his time. (Jim turned 85 just last week and still has a full teaching roster!)

Anyway, this diatribe comes from the sense of rebirth I feel having discovered that drums can be a part of my life, and not just something that I have to hide in the basement. Despite several careers -- both successful and wrong choices -- I never lost the feeling that I was a drummer showing up at the wrong gig.
-rb

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