Story From George Carver, Our Experienced Drummers Buddy

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I’m a 74 year old drummer and have only played in local groups. I have played in several Gospel & Country and Rock & Roll groups in the central Pennsylvania area. I collect snare drums and my drum room is covered with some very collectable drums and drum kits.

With the virus it has been a terrible year for all musicians. Unless you are willing to play outside you probably won’t get much of a chance to play in front of people and things don’t look like it is going to get better any time soon.

george studio
george studio

I’m a member of the Blues Society of Central Pa. Before the virus we had a weekly jam at a place called Champions Sports Bar & Grill in Highspire ,Pa that ran every Thursday night for over 20 years

I started drumming at the age of 15. A friend of mine had a 1964 Ludwig black oyster pearl double tom drum set which I bought for $300.00. I have been offered $5000.00 for the snare drum but I do not want to sell it. My friends and I started jamming in my basement.

We would buy a record and listen to it and practice to it until we had it down perfect. Back then you would buy records that came in either a 45 rpm record or a 33 1/3 rpm. We played at various school dances.

the drum kit that he built
the drum kit that he built

The TV show called American Bandstand with Dick Clark would come on live from Philadelphia after school and would have professional musicians play their music and we would listen and practice to that also. This was back in the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. I played that drum set for many years.

Then I wanted to build my own drum set. I went to various drum shows and was able to pick up old used drum shells. Then I sent away to a company called Precision Drum Company and purchased drum coverings and new hardware and I built my own drum set. 

My third set was purchased in 2012 from Gretsch. It was called a 57 chevy renown drum set. It was created to resemble the 1957 Chevrolet Car. Through the years I played in various bands and played at clubs in my local area.

gretsch 57 chevy renown kit
gretsch 57 chevy renown kit

Then some friends of mine and myself started a music club called the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania. We talked a club owner into letting us play there on Thursday nights. It became quite a hit. We drew such large crowds that the club owner left us to play there every week. That was back in the late 1990’s and has been going on until Covid shut everything down back in 2019.

We are still shut down. We can only play at outdoor events at the current time. We have no idea when if ever we will be able to go back to normal. The outlook looks very depressing for someone my age. I have been married for 50 years to a woman who has put up with the noise and late nights. She actually loves to hear me play. I have played Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Country, Gospel, and Blues.

original 1964 kit
original 1964 kit

Playing all the various types of music has made me a very versatile drummer and I don’t get bored playing the same thing over & over. I feel that I could play in any band and play very well. I still practice to a metronome to help me stay on time.

A drummer must be a good listener and be able to set the time and not speed up during a song. I have probably practiced for thousands of hours in 60 years of playing drums.

The hardest rhythm that I had to learn was the blues shuffle pattern. It sounds easy to listen to it but learning how to play it well and putting all the fills in the right places takes a lot of practice. All I can say is playing drums is not easy and will require all the dedication that you have to become a good drummer.

The main thing you have to have been to be able to play with other musicians is the ability to listen. I hope this what you wanted to hear from an old dedicated drummer. I would be interested in knowing how you got my name and knew that I was a drummer.

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