Alesis Strike Pro SE
Alesis Strike Pro SE electronic drum kit

Ever since I was a little kid and saw Animal on The Muppet Show, I’ve wanted to play drums. I tried to get a slot as a drummer in school band when I was in grade school and middle school, but we already had two drummers on the squad and the band teacher insisted I play trombone instead.

Jump ahead to my late 20s and early 30s. I bought an inexpensive electronic kit (Roland TD-7) and messed around with recording a few songs on my PC. I even played drums in a Creed cover band in 2001. It was fun to experiment with the drums as well as electric guitar, another instrument I’ve dabbled in since my 20s. For a while I had an Alesis QS6 synthesizer and used that in my recording.

I eventually sold the TD-7 and upgraded to an acoustic drum set — I’d use that to wake up the neighbors every afternoon. For personal reasons (divorce), I got rid of all my music gear in 2014.

Jump ahead to today (August 2021). The music bug is back in my brain (it never left, it’s just been suppressed) so I sold my motorcycle and used the money to get a new suite of gear. I’ve reconfigured my home office to be a combination work area and music studio.

So far my gear includes:

  • Alesis Strike Pro SE electronic drum set
  • Epiphone Les Paul Vintage Edition electric guitar
  • Ibanez Gio GSR200PW bass guitar
  • Luna Henna Oasis acoustic-electric guitar
  • M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKV MIDI keyboard controller

All of this is connected to a Macbook Pro running GarageBand via a Presonus Audiobox 2×2 USB96 audio interface. I use a Mackie 1202 VLZ3 mixer to connect the instruments in one place (the guitars are connected to Digitech multi-effects pedals).

Although I’ve played guitar, drums and keyboards in the past, I’m very rusty so I’m spending the next few months building up my basic skills and competencies. I also intend to study music theory and may even learn to read music.

My long-term goal is to compose a series of songs that are inspired by my first novel, Ohlen’s Arrow. The finished works would function like a soundtrack to my book. We’ll see how that goes.