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Life is a little stressful these days. You may have noticed. If not, someone needs to pull you out from under a rock or you need to share whatever it is you’re on.

I spend my days in healthcare. It’s fun. Today I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I don’t know what I’ve really accomplished, and if I accomplished anything, I don’t remember what that may be. That said, I have found the perfect coping mechanism to get me through all of this craziness: Paradiddles.

A paradiddle is one of 26 rudiments that they teach drummers, and is by far my favorite. “That’s great, Whipped Owl. What exactly IS it?” Okay, here goes: Tap your right hand on your desk. Now your left. Hit the desk two more times with the right. Do the exact opposite. RLRR LRLL. Do it over and over again while keeping a steady tempo. That’s a paradiddle. I LOVE paradiddles.

You drummers know what I’m talking about. I hit my desk all day in this pattern. RLRR LRLL. I lightly tap my feet, as well. It feels so good!

Wanna have try something wild? Tap out emails by hitting the keys in paradiddle pattern. RLRR LRLL.

Go for a drive and make your turns in paradiddle pattern. Right turn, left turn, right turn, right turn. See how far you get without having to turn around!

Really want to turn some heads? Walk to your next meeting taking steps in that pattern. Those double rights create a hop! People think I’m nuts.

And really, that’s the point. You’re going to legitimately go crazy letting this world get the best of you. Try to stop taking everything so seriously. Do a paradiddle.

Patience: Not my Strong Suit

I’m an impatient person. It runs in the family. Thanks, Dad! I would rather bull my way through something as opposed to taking the time and getting it right. Im apt to throw in the towel long before giving something a reasonable attempt. I’m even getting impatient figuring out how to end this paragraph!

I have been getting into jazz music lately. A drummer myself, I have always greatly admired and watched in amazement the jazz drummer. Why am I not a jazz drummer? You guessed it.

Recently, I have decided that I am going to go all the way back to square one and learn the art of jazz drumming. I have been giving it a legitimate try, and have figured out it may be okay if I don’t turn in Max Roach overnight. Or at all! The smart money is on the latter.

I have learned that the one glaring similarity between jazz drumming and the styles I have primarily played is that one hits a set of drums with a stick. Man, jazz music goes against everything I have trained my mind to think and how I have asked my limbs to react! What do you mean my left hand doesn’t have to hit the snare drum on the exact beat I close the hi-hat with my left foot??? You want me to alternate the two? Holy hell!

It’s been a rush, and I am learning (slowly) to enjoy the process of trying something new. I’m taking my time. Carnegie Hall is not calling me anytime soon! But I AM improving!

So I’ll keep plugging away at it. And who knows? Maybe I CAN learn photography without having to be Ansel Adams. Perhaps I can dabble in landscape painting without feeling I should rival Bob Ross.

But for now, back to drumming. Time for a happy little swing beat.