Vintage Drum Center's restoration expert, Ned Ingerberman, has restored thousands of vintage drums over the past 20 years.  Take a peek at some of his informative and valuable drum restoration tips: 

Restoration Tips





By: Steve (Father Time) Katz

Let's talk about climbing over your fears of evolving, learning, growing, leaving behind what was, and embracing the uncertainty of stepping into the new. It's a bit demanding putting one's self in turmoil for a brief time while the head and the heart hash things out, but it IS do-able. Many great drummers have courageously taken this bold stroke, if you will, to forget their pasts and begin again. Turning towards an entirely NEW direction, rethinking their game plan, asking, "What else IS there?" I count myself among those who've dared to take this Nestea Plunge into the unknown, and certainly not without my fears and trepidations keeping me company. 'Til one day surprisingly, they simply melted away, leaving me with a reassurance that I CAN evolve, I CAN reinvent myself, I CAN CONTINUE! But when do you know if it's time to move on, and make the BIG change? AFFRAID? Well, you should be! After all, you've been in the same place for quite some time, as far as your drumming goes, meaning you got comfortable right where you are. You're proficient at what's already been learned, and your gigs go down nicely. You got plenty of chops, performing confidence, strong evidence of seasoning and maturity, which is abundantly noticeable, characteristics we ALL strive to possess. However this safe, comfy, secure position can often be interpreted as complacency, something to be avoided at all costs! ( time to think about moving ahead )

As a devoted fan, or at the very least a casual follower of one particular drummer or another over several years, even decades, you're bound to observe an evolution of sorts, throughout a player's lengthy career. They seem to pass thru one phase after another, and then another, and so on, as this is part of our Human condition. It's expected that change will come. Stop and think a minute about your favorite players, how they're ALWAYS changing their kits, playing style, musical approach, endorsements, groups, even their looks for that matter. Some drummer's changes are smooth transitions from one project to the next while others undertake more drastic directional changes. Some players fancy a change by their own choice, tho some of us have had the misfortune of change being forced upon us. Regardless of your struggle to steer clear of change whether it's asked for or not, this self-metamorphosis, this Human evolution HAPPENS!

So I'll ask again: When will you know if it's time to move on and make a change? What are a few of the telltale signs that should indicate it's time for a change? That is, aside from necessity. When there's NO more challenge and NO more excitement. When little distractions find a way in, impeding progress, then the FUN goes away. Sheer frustration and boredom, we've all dealt with this from time to time, certainly a sign nonetheless. Conflicts that develop over long-term group ideologies can really strain interpersonal relationships bringing about change. It will destroy friendships, collapse bands, dissolve marriages, even ruin lives. Money is often the guilty culprit, as are legal battles. Lastly, folks will tend to fall out of favor frequently, as their personal tastes, various motivations, sensibilities, and priorities are forever changing.

Is change GOOD or BAD? Excellent question. To begin with, there's good and bad aspects within every single change we go thru. Most Humans aren't gifted with foresight, therefore, we truly DON'T KNOW for sure if any change endured will turn out good or bad for us, 'til we live through it, and can look back on it. There's curiosity, thirst for adventure, ambition, indulging one's imagination, testing your strength of courage, these are all catalysts for seeking change as a GOOD thing. Still change itself is perceived as something inevitable whether by neighborly welcome or disrupting with its dreaded arrival. We confront the eminent changes with all our strength of will and determination on a moment-to-moment basis, often couched in our fear of uncertainty, as change can be a BAD thing if thrust upon us. The outcome: Anger, frustration, resentment, THEN hopeless defeat instantly takes over, suppressing the necessary logic we'd naturally employ, pointing us toward any possible good that could emerge from a bad change. Of course an intelligent mind would rationalize a bad change in its proper perspective, and turn it around somehow making it a good thing! OK have we all had enough Psycho-Analysis for one day? Best we kick on then.

If this were a religious discussion, no doubt somebody out there reading this would suggest taking a leap of faith. WELL, let's do just that. Let's Step Into The New! Admit it! You have far greater abilities than the musical situations you regularly place yourself in requires, ( playing it safe, removing the risk-factor, always going after the easy money, keeping in mind it's important to work smarter not harder ). Why not apply these abilities that you've spent many, many years cultivating, and drum up 3-4 forward-thinking players to experiment and explore with. Why not branch out and challenge yourself, new experiences are out there waiting for you. But you hafta want something NEW. Look, every PRO player you can think of has projects on the side, far and away from their bread-n-butter work. These projects are created by players ARTISTS just like you, who possess these finely nurtured skills. WHY DO THIS? It fulfills a burning desire, a passion for diverse musical expression. They've discovered the need to either explore untrampled territory, or to expand their musicality, and as logic follows, built an atmosphere where their highly conditioned imagination's deepest drumistic ideas can freely thrive, in doing so, achieve balance.

There MUST be balance: Session drummers are constantly called on to do a wide variety of short-term assignments, never seeing or working with the same people twice. Oppositely they'd need to join a band that recorded and played out quite often. Familiar faces, thoroughly rehearsed music, performed in front of large enthusiastic crowds, night after exhilarating night. Now that's definitely the best of both worlds. Of course the optimum situation would be to perform and record with a group that every once in a while, takes some downtime, affording you the opportunity to stretch those creative wings. It's imperative! You hafta set aside some creative time for YOU! On the other hand, lets say you've become desperate to find some other musicians to play with. Disillusioned, you continually run into the same tired old Vanilla set-list material played by those who consider $$$ above ART, and only wanna play for a few drunks at the corner Pub for a few bucks, just to be able to say they're "still doing it". How would that be for you, can you survive a non-creative environment? Are you a computer? Good morning Dave, how ya doin' HAL?

This is why you hafta diversify yourself. Your inventive, inspired mind depends on the variety of change just to remain stimulated enough to constantly fill your imagination with a wealth of concepts needed to pull out, when the right musical moment presents itself. And if that moment never comes, then you gotta find / create outside avenues to pursue, so you can play music that'll allow you to flex your imagination, utilizing the wonderful rhythmic concepts you've been storing up all these years. OR you can switch off the Imagination Center of the brain, relying on what's already known to get you by. Don't be the person that's decided to learn drumming, then immediately gravitated to the one style easiest to command, went out bought a drumkit indicative of that style, joined a group that plays / takes dates in that style, working only in those appropriate venues. Instead, why not become the ARTIST, every moth eventually becomes a butterfly, never forget that , and fashion an environment that can be romanced by the musical data your imagination is processing and take your leap of faith. Become convinced of your vast abilities enough to competently stretch your percussive boundaries to encompass a much wider field of musical landscapes. Then, when you've developed your own unique well-rounded approach, make the change. Contemplate new possibilities and seek to open new doors. Maybe a new endeavor is just what's called for to catapult you to reaching your pinnacle. Are you ready for your next phase? Might I ask, what will happen to your musical career once you're disabled and can't play as you once did? Time to re-evaluate, doncha think?

Take a long hard look deep inside yourself, ask what's MORE important, going along contented, just as you are right now, or will you chance to risk a completely different path, perhaps one as yet not traveled. SCARED? Well, you should be! After all, it ain't easy leaving the comfort and security of all that's been familiar up to now behind you, to boldly step forward into the new! It takes plenty of guts and fortitude, I know, based on first-hand experiences, but you must trust me, the rewards will absolutely outweigh the emotional apprehension that comes with uncertainty. Of course, there's your fall-back alternative, which is to keep things just like they are, taking your drumming / your musicianship no further. Besides, think, now that you KNOW this fear can be dispelled, once you set your new course and launch into it, what's left is a new infinitely broader creative mindset capable of once-thought impossible musical expressions. This'll produce a better musician, a better drummer, and many better musical products to show for your efforts. Thus yielding an improved outlook on life. THAT'S RIGHT! It's all connected! You make your drumming better to make your life better. That's logical. Now go make something interesting happen!



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