New drums

After many months of attempting to finish the drum career in Rock Band, I finally did it this weekend, reclaiming a whopping 90 Gamerscore in the process. The problem was Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” — there was something about that rhythm that utterly baffled me. Turns out I was playing the riff too slowly and my kicks were on the wrong beat. Even when I figured it out, it took me two hours of intense practice and retries to pull it off.

Part of why I decided “that’s it, this ends now” was the arrival this lovely beast last week:

That’s the Ion Drum Rocker for which I sold my acoustic drum kit a few weeks ago. I sold my barely-used Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit with cymbals and a little extra hardware for a very fair $300 — and got what you see here for the exact same amount. (I have a third cymbal coming which was an extra $50).

So far , I love the electronic kit. It came with the Xbox 360 controller brain and it works great in both RB games (and will work in GHWT and Rock Revolution in “five zone compatibility mode” instead of those games’ native six- and seven-zone settings) but I picked up a used Alesis D4 drum brain (another $150) so I can use this as a real electronic drum kit, too. I will need to find a hi-hat pedal somewhere, since the Drum Rocker lacks one. But I will arguably use this more than my “real” drums and I would like to get back into lessons if I can figure out how to make time appear out of thin air.

And thanks to headphones, I can play at similarly low volumes the way I did with the Rhythm Traveler. Or I can, you know, hook it up to my guitar amp. Or…my PA system, if I really hate the neighbors. Luckily, one is a drummer.

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