Drum machine to the rescue

Akai iMPC Drum Machine

Akai iMPC Drum Machine on iPad

I recently had back surgery (a right L4-L5 microdiscectomy to be exact). I won’t go into all the details, but surgery was my best option given my situation. Because of this, I haven’t been able to play my drums for more than 2 months. The surgery has forced me to slow down, and has given me a lot of time to relax and think.

At our last frank rehearsal before my surgery, Seth handed me an iPad mini, loaded with a number of synths and other digital music programs. “Thought you might want something to play around with while you are recovering.” Seth is the man.

I played around with the iPad for a few days, and learned how to use some of the apps he had (like tabletop, arturi mini moog, and iMPC drum machine with some help from youtube). I had a lot of free time while I was home recovering, and this was a perfect way to spend it.

Now I can use the iPad at frank rehearsal, and I’m able to play along using my fingers. I can play “live,” or I can create loops that we can improvise on top of. It’s not the same as playing real drums, but it’s certainly better than not playing.

I tend to be an all or nothing person. I thought I would have to wait until I was fully recovered to start playing with the band again. Luckily Seth had this technology, was thoughtful enough to let me borrow it. Needless to say I’m extremely thankful for the loan. But more importantly it’s made me realize that sometimes you just need to see things slightly differently. Who knows, maybe the next frank record will be all drum machines…

I’m looking forward to getting back behind the kit. But in the meantime, I’m just happy to be making music with my friends.