Practice, Practice, Practice


adel_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Practice, Practice, Practice
Synopsis Adel and Monica get together for a drum lesson. The old fashioned way!
Date March 11, 2011

The Rock Cellar

Two days ago, when Monica had been meeting with a young girl she met at the gym, there was a note left with one of the help staff from Adel. It was scrawled in a quick hand, large letters, that look like they could have been written by a child. But then, Adel seemed a little on the childish side of things.


Raincheck! Need 2 met on Friday, 10AM! Busy 2day.

Adel. =D

Complete with smilie face.

Now, it's 10am, and the doors to the Rock Cellar are open, though there's no one besides a small contengency of staff present and accounted for, most setting chairs back down on the floor, and buffing counters, but there's one who is obviously not a member of the staff. Adel sits on the edge of the two foot high stage, swinging her legs in anticipation, and watching the doors for the person she'd left a note for.

A lot of people call Monica Moni, or Mon, it isn't abnormal! But the addition of the e, just a cute little extra, well, it made the mimic smile. It was cute!

And promptly at ten, two days later, Monica makes her way into the Rock Cellar. She eyes the staff a little, as if expecting them to stop her, but she doesn't slow on her way to find the stage. Seeing the girl there, she lifts her hand for a wave. "Hey! I got your note before. Obviously. Since I'm here. But hi!"

"Great!" Adel says in a cheerful voice, hopping off the edge of the stage with a hint of an athletic background. Perhaps she wasn't kidding when she said she wanted to practice acrobatics and tumbling, cause it looks like she might have trained a bit in that, from just that one small jump. "I found out that this place is all open but nearly empty at 10am, so we got plenty of time to bang on a drum without bothering anyone— except the staff, and since it's an electric drum set, we can turn the volume down, too." She motions behind her to the stage, where indeed there's an electric drum set set up— and an acoustic guitar too.

Monica looks up at the gesture, and her eyebrows lift up a little. "Wow. You've got some great equipment, Adel." She comes over to the edge of the stage, ogling for a moment. "Will someone kill me if I touch the guitar?" She asks in sort of a quiet voice. But when she straightens and looks over at the girl again, there's a little, crooked smile. "Hey, you weren't kidding about they gymnastics, huh?" She gestures a little herself, to the spot where she hopped off the stage.

"The drums were a gift— so was the guitar, technically, but they're both mine and I won't kill you if you touch them! Now if you break them we may have words…" But from the smile, Adel doesn't think those words will come to violence. Maybe she thinks the words will be bad enough.

"And I got some training in it, yeah. I've always been more of a mover and shaker than a hit things in the face— er." She looks up and to the side, as if trying to decide if that's a word. From the nod after, she seems to think it should be. "But yeah, be my guest! We got about an hour before the lunch crowds begin to emerge from the streets. And there's a recording studio not too far we can evacuate too, if you want."

"I'm a mover and a shaker, too, you could say." Monica's aptitude for hitting things in the face is left out of the conversation, though. "Nice gifts," she says, before she moves to hop up on the stage. "Don't worry, I'm pretty graceful when it comes down to it. I won't hurt them." But she doesn't go straight for the guitar, instead, she looks back at Adel. "If we've only got an hour… why don't you show me where we start? I mean, I banged on pots and pans as a kid, but it isn't exactly music theory."

With one hand on the top of the stage, Adel vaults herself up in that same show of gravefulness, before she hops over to the drum set and picks up the sticks. "Okay, drums are pretty easy cause it really depends on the beat you want to set, and then you improvise. I'm big on the improvising. As long as you keep the beat and tone the song calls for— a little improv doesn't hurt nothin'." With a tap of the sticks together, she launches into a simple set, with a 1 and 2 and three and four on the drums up high, making a clanking sound of metal when she hits it, then the base drum is brought in with the toe of her foot, a steady pulse. By itself the drum doesn't seem too impressive, but both hands and both feet are needed to play, so it isn't as easy as one might thing from banging on pots and pans as a kid.

Monica listens and watches, but she isn't watching. That is, she's trying to learn, at least the basics, without tapping into her ability. But she watches with obvious interest. It may not be the most exciting showing, and Monica has something of a patience problem when she tries to learn the old fashion way, but she pulls over a seat and tries not to let it show outwardly. "How do you keep your hands and feet all doing their own thing? Is that just a thing that comes with practice or is there some insider trick? I always wondered that. Drummers seem like the best multitaskers."

"Well, it's kind of like dancing," Adel says, as she continues to play, bringing in the tam drums a few times with a quick rap across them before she returns to the steady beat that she's maintaining. The peddles seem to be fairly complicated, cause she has to hold one down to create a specific sound, and another controls the base. "Except with dancing you don't get an annoying sound to remind you every time you mess up, for example…" she lets her foot stray off the peddle and there's a change in the sound and beat. Not completely annoying, but it sounds different. "It's harder when you're playing with a full band, that's why praticing beats is so important alone. You get so used to it that it's like… chewing your food! You stop thinking about it and just do it."

"Okay, I can see that. Sort of like memorizing steps." Monica smirks at the note about the annoying sound, and there's a chuckle at the demonstration. "I guess with music, when you mess up, everybody knows. Good thing to keep in mind." She does look down at those peddles, though, trying to get the idea. The good thing is, she's got enough musical experience that rhythm isn't a problem these days. "Makes sense. If it's second nature, they won't throw you off."

"With a full band you can get away with it more, cause there's so much sound that one or two missed beats aren't really noticed by everyone…" Adel admits, though she's falling back into the movements again. There's definitely a distinct pattern to it, though she throws in some flare and twirling of sticks whenever she can, because no matter what else, she seems to be trying to be showy. "My old drum set was never this good— this one is so smooth and everything is right where it's supposed to be. It took me a couple weeks to get used to the change, though. Like new shoes."

The more rhythmic it gets, the harder it is for Monica not to just zone out and let herself take it in, but she's being strict with herself today, which leaves her with a brow furrowed in concentration and a serious expression. "It's funny how we can adapt to imperfect, huh? Lumpy mattresses, old shoes, like that. This set is really nice, though."

"Yeah, totally! And we get so used to them that the nicer stuff gets to be weird by comparison," Adel says with a laugh, despite talking she seems to be able to maintain the sound. Even if she has to raise her voice. She doesn't have to raise it nearly as much as she would if this were a traditional drum set, though. With the speakers turned down it doesn't make nearly as much noise as even banging on pots and pans would.

"Now I'm gonna show you a little faster beat…" she prefaces, before she shifts her playing around. Indeed it is faster, with more flair, and using a lot more of the different electronic drums than before.

And Monica has to literally sit back to take it in. she ends up on her feet and back down the stage a few steps, to get a good view of everything going on. Drums are more complicated than they look at first glance! "You're quite the showman, Adel. Or showwoman, I guess," she says with a chuckle. "Where'd you pick up the flare?"

"My mom," Adel answers, toning the beat down a bit to make talking easier. Because one thing about the faster beat, even with the speakers turned down, it still was notably louder and more enthusiastic. "Well, one of them, really. There's a bunch of people I called family who are full of flair, in various ways. Not all of them, but… even the quietest of them had their own kind, you just didn't see it often. I kinda borrowed the best parts of the people I loved the most." There's a small falter in her drumming, and she puts it to a stop quickly with a beat of the base drum. As if ending the beat to cover up the fact she lost track of where she was. "Anyway… your turn," she says, hopping up and holding the sticks out.

"Your mom was a musician? Mine was, too. She played the piano," Monica says, as she comes over to put a hand on Adel's shoulder, "Borrowing parts of what she did always helps me feel like she's still close. Ya know? Plus, I think you got the right idea in learning from the people around you." But when those sticks are held out, Monica blinks once, and then wraps her hand around them. "Okay, but don't laugh when I mess up." She chuckles a little there, nervously as she moves to take the seat. There's a few testing taps before she starts to try to play out the rhythm. But she gets lost more than a little as she tries to remember about the peddles, and ends up looking at her feet a little too much.

"Yeah, my mom was a musician," Adel says, moving around so she can see the peddle work, as well as watch the hands. In the middle of a beat she bends down and grabs the other woman's foot and actually uses her hands to make her foot move, showing her the best way to do it with her own hands. "She never played the drums, so that was something I could throw in. But she wasn't half-assed in anything important. It was full-ass or nothin'," she says with a grin as she straightens, now reaching to correct the hold on the sticks a little.

Monica lets out a brief, nervous laugh as Adel corrects her footing, but she takes all the little adjustments with a nod and a sheepish smile. "Seems like a good philosophy to me. Why do something if you're just gonna stumble through it. I like throwing myself into things whole hog. It's probably why I end up in trouble…"

"Love, music and life, the important stuff," Adel says with a grin, making the adjustments gently as possible, but definitely forceful, because it's one of those three important things she mentioned. "I end up in a lot of trouble too, probably for much the same reasons. But that's what the best songs and stories are made of. No one remembers the people who just go with the flow."

"Hey, I'm from New Orleans, you won't get any arguments from me there." Monica does seem to retain what she's learning, those adjustments remembered and corrected as she goes on. She keeps the beat slowish, though, not wanting to get ahead of herself. "That's a good point. I just hope I'm remembered kindly and not as that girl who couldn't look before she leapt."

There's a laugh, and Adel reaches over to smack the slightly older woman on the back with a firm palm. This will likely mess up the beat a little, but she doesn't care. "I doubt that'll happen, Monie," she says, saying the quirky nickname outloud, somehow making the e almost audible. "We should hang out more often. I got a little loft apartment down in SoHo, outside the ruins. I'm going to be taking the drum set back there for daily practices soon, so you could help me annoy my neighbors while you learn to play the old fashioned way."

And mess it up it does, but she recovers okay, until she brings it to a dramatic, if silly, close by hitting one of everything all in a row. "I wouldn't mind hanging out. Maybe we could try out those rooftops, too, one of these days." At that last note, though, she raises an eyebrow as she looks up at the girl. "There's just something different about the old fashioned way."

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