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Drumming Days Gone By

Article by Jayson Brinkworth // December 02 2009
Drumming Days Gone By

Let me start off this month’s article by saying that I am definitely an “in the moment, looking to the future” kind of personality. But as the year comes to a close, I can’t help but think back on all of my drumming days and recall events as though they happened yesterday. I have seen a thing or two in this industry since my beginnings and still continue to learn every single day.

Sometime in the next while, take time to make your list of drumming days gone by. You will see right in front of you, the reason that we are all so passionate about playing music and drumming. Hope you have and enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!

  • September 3, 1983, 11:30 am. First drum lesson with Chris Coggins. I remember exactly where I was sitting and how excited I was. I remember getting a Remo practice pad, a pair of Pearl drumsticks and a Ludwig snare drum book. There were two kits in the room, a natural finish four-piece Ludwig kit and a Black five-piece Maxwin kit. It was a glorious day.
  • First song learned: Loverboy’s “Teenage Overdose”
  • First kit--a Christmas present from my parents --seven-piece Westbury (concert toms!). Can’t recall cymbals, Paiste Sound Edge hi-hats and a Ludwig Supraphonic snare. This kit rocked my world, and I played it every single day.
  • Songs played (I mean attempted) in my formal years: “Run To The Hills” (Soooo fast), “Bark at the Moon.” (I dug Ozzy and Maiden, wore a Number of the Beast shirt for my grade 8 picture, not sure how I snuck that one by my mom), “Tom Sawyer” (My teacher was a Rush fanatic so we had a steady dose of Neil Peart. Great training grounds), “Like a Virgin” (Okay, it sounds crazy, but Tony Thompson was a groove monster. Check out the Power Station tunes). I also attempted to cop Dave Weckl with the Chick Corea Electric Band and Steve Gadd on the Paul Simon records.
  • Another great teacher, my high school band teacher Bob Nichols was also a percussionist in the symphony orchestra. He made us learn theory, a bit of tympani and vibes, and played us great records from all styles and eras. He was instrumental in my reading and understanding about music. Also directed our jazz band that was quite good.
  • Christmas, 1984. I got a Yamaha boom arm, splash cymbal and two cassettes (Duran Duran and Honeymoon Suite, no laughing please.) This was the first gift I opened and then went directly downstairs and played drums until suppertime. Came up and ate, opened the rest of my gifts and headed back downstairs to play.
  • 16th Birthday. Got money as a gift, went to the music store and bought an 18” thin crash and a boom stand. My mom couldn’t believe that I spent all of my money on these items.
  • Song that sealed the deal on needing to play the drums: “Rosanna” by Toto. Jeff Porcaro became a huge hero and influence on me—most of the time not even knowing he played on many of my favorite songs.
  • My kits in order to date: Westbury, Pearl (an Export kit with the exact same sizes as Jeff Porcaro), Canwood (first pro kit), Obelisk, Camco, Yamaha, EPEK, Yamaha.
  • First paying gig, 1985. Made $50 playing with a band from our music school at an AA meeting.
  • Gig when I thought I had made it: I was 18 and was playing with some very good older players in a band called Fast Freight. A month before I turned 19 we played a bar here for six nights and I made $500. I thought I was a rockstar!
  • Gig that put it in perspective: I was on the road with a band and we were playing three nights in a very dumpy bar. Unannounced to me, some of my family surprised me by travelling five hours to see the band and hangout for a couple of nights. I was sure my mom was going to pack me up and take me home.
  • Playing slowed a bit in my 20’s as I was in school and both of my children were born. I did a fair bit of teaching, played in a couple of original bands, as well as started doing more sessions and such.
  • Things started to pick up at 30 with a few bands and great players. Travelling also began with gigs in Canada and the USA. Definitely started getting very serious about a career in music.
  • Started working with a lot of bands from Saskatchewan and all over the country. This networking led to many other opportunities in live and studio work. Also learned the importance of an open mind and a solid work ethic.
  • September, 2002. Opened Music in the House with my great friend Ray Bell and Shamma Sabir.
  • Realized that I can have a valid music career here in Saskatchewan, Canada no matter what anyone says. The key is diversity and adversity all of the time.

This list can go on for a bit, but I think you get the idea. I do have more dates and specifics listed in my bio on my website. All of us have a list, we just have to take the time to review it once in a while and appreciate what got us to the point we are at in our playing. Thanks to my father-in-law, Larry Roddick, for the "Days Gone By" inspiration.



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About the Author
Jayson  Brinkworth

Jayson Brinkworth is an accomplished drummer, percussionist, vocalist, educator and writer based out of Canada. He is co-owner of the Saskatchewan music school Music In The House, as well as the founder of both the Regina Drum Festival and The Stickman Drum Experience.

Jayson proudly endorses Yamaha drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Evans heads, Impact cases, Kickport, Flix, Future Sonics and Mountain Rhythm. Visit Jayson online at www.jaysonbrinkworth.com.

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