1995. The year that I got my first snare drum. It was bought by my late father. I can still remember the night when he came home. Excitement is not enough to describe what I felt while waiting for him. I was happy he finally agreed on letting me join the drum & lyre band of my school.
I can say that it was thanks to my Dad that I was able to learn how to play a drum. People who know me would say I would dance or move like I’m dancing anywhere I am, be it in an elevator or hallway, but even before I got into that habit, I had the drumming habit first. I would play drum beats on any surface with the use of my hands or spoon and fork, pen, pencil or just about anything that I can hold. Thanks to my Dad I finally was able to play on a real drum.
I hope someday I can get to play the drums again even at home.
During my elementary years in Don Mariano Marcos Elementary School, I was part of our school’s drum and bugle (lyre) band from half of grade 4 to grade 6. I first played the snare drum in grade 4. I quit the band during the second half of the school year. When I returned to the band in grade 5, I started playing the bass drum even though my height doesn’t pass the qualifications for a bass drummer: tall, big and strong. In fact, the bass drum is bigger than me, but since I’m good with rhythm and beats I was given an exception by our coach (and I think there’s none other than me and two others who is brave enough to carry the bass drum). I think our coach liked me because of my dedication to the band and I’m not one of those drummers who gets into his nerves.
I remember a time during a Sinulog contest where we played for like 8 hours or so with only as much as 15 minutes of break. My right hand’s fingers are covered with blisters already. That’s the toughest part with being a bass drummer because we have no subs and we can’t lower our beat of the drum because the band might lose the rhythm. Though there are three of us, the two others, one of them being my best friend, are already having a hard time so I decided to keep up the volume of my beat. In the end, the blister hurt so much that I can’t even hold a spoon during dinner that night.
Lesson learned that day: wear gloves when playing for long hours.