I remember when I first started, back when the dinosaurs were not yet created, I didn’t have a pad. I had a pair of sticks.
Sticks and nothing else.
I traveled light.
But everywhere I would go, I would be drumming. There was always a surface, flat or not so flat, to play on. It was great! A table or my own thigh was an obvious choice, but I didn’t stop there. I would drum on anything. A-ny-thing.
Food, appliances, cars. A-ny-thing!
I didn’t have a metronome either.
That went on for a long time.
Finally, I got a pad and a metronome. The pad was a Ludwig one, a black one that you can throw on a snare drum and it stays there because it acts like a vacuum. A wonderful invention with just the right amount of bounce when you hit it. They don’t do it like that anymore, which is too bad.
I carried my pad everywhere. The metronome, not so much. It was one of those old wooden affairs, about as precise as the steps of a drunken man and it was fragile. The fragile part didn’t agree with me. So, the metronome stayed at home.
I remember the amount of work I did on that pad. I studied like a mad man. And flams, and rolls, and paradiddle, and ratamacues, and combinations, and snare drum studies. I beat that pad every day religiously.
Well, the news is, I still have it. Yes, the very same pad I bought when I was 16. This piece of equipment is still at work. As a matter of fact, it is the one my drum students practice on when they come to their drum lesson, because that 32 years old piece of rubber is still on my snare drum today. It still works!
As for the metronome, the old clicking one, I don’t know what happened to it. I just hope to never see it again.