Alvin Cho's Blog

My name is Alvin. And this is my blog.

In-Depth #8

May 12, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

In-Depth Night is just around the corner! It’s hard to believe that the whole In-Depth project is so close to wrapping up. But, it’s not over yet, and I have been giving some thought into my performance on In-Depth night. However, I will get to that later.

Before I do talk about my performance, many things have happened since my last post. Firstly, I managed to get my hands on a double kick! :D I talked to my mentor about it, and he managed to bring one over. This opened up so many more possibilities for me, and I have been having a blast with it. These are the exact same Iron Cobras he brought over:

Secondly, I got a couple opportunities to improve my drumming. First, I got a volunteer opportunity to play drums at a Community Center for a Sing-a-Long with some seniors. Secondly, I managed to join a Drum Line, which has a marching band style. Both were something I had never done before,  and were great experiences that taught me a lot.

Now, for the performance. My plan is to play Afterlife, which I have brought up in some of my past blog posts. But now, I have the double kick to get it done, and the song itself is fairly easy. I will bring my drum set over to the school, and possibly ask and borrow a China Cymbal and possibly also a Splash Cymbal from my school’s music room’s drum set. My only concern is the duration of my performance, as the night is long enough, and a 5 minute song will probably not go so well with a restless crowd…

The song ‘Afterlife’ incorporates a solid amount of bass drum work, including a few double kick parts as well. There are also several different fills, so I think this song is perfect to display what I’ve learned from my In-Depth project because it incorporates most parts of the drums.

Looking forward to In-Depth night!

Showcase of Learning – The Industrial Revolution

April 14, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Here is my Showcase of Learning, that I made on Prezi.

I would suggest using a mouse while making a Prezi, because the sudden zooming in and out caused by my trackpad got really annoying.. :$




In-Depth #5

March 31, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Recently, I have really been looking into getting a double bass pedal. Having a double bass pedal will open up so many more opportunities for me, and I will be able to play a lot more exercises and songs. The only problem is that double bass pedals are quite expensive.. For example, the cheapest double bass pedal that I saw at Long & McQuade was $125, and they sell for up to $700 there.

My mentor, Shay, has recently introduced me to a bunch of different styles of beats. He has introduced me to some Latin beats, and some Salsa beats. Though those beats are not styles that I would play, I think one of the keys of being a successful drummer is being well-rounded, and able to play many different styles.

My main focus recently has been Afterlife, by Avenged Sevenfold. The main problem I am facing right now is that part of the song has double kick in it. This is another big reason why I want to get a double bass pedal. I have been using a combination of my ear, videos of drum covers, and online tabs to learn this song. When I am just about completed the song, I will then run it through with Shay and get his advice.

I have a lesson with my mentor tomorrow, so hopefully he will show me new things and I will ask him about whether or not I should get a double kick, where I should get it, what kind, etc. Hopefully by next time, I will have one! :D

In-Depth Post #3

February 18, 2012 by · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

“Stretch Your Limits Once in A While, You May Find You Have More Range Than You Thought.”

So far with my drumming, I have been learning relatively easy songs. About 50% of the songs that I decided to learn have been songs where I can look at the tab once, play with the song, and do it almost perfectly. Then, I would work on the parts I couldn’t do, and then have the song done pretty soon. Here are some of the songs I have worked on so far:

Three Days Grace

  • Pain (Done)
  • Animal I Have Become (Done)
  • Let It Die (Done)

Papa Roach

  • To Be Loved (Done)
  • Be Free (Done)
  • Forever (Done)
  • Scars (Done)
  • Last Resort (In Progress)

Avenged Sevenfold

  • Seize The Day (Done)
  • So Far Away (In Progress)
  • Dear God (Done)
  • To End The Rapture (Almost Done [Little Details])
  • Brompton Cocktail (In Progress)
  • Trashed and Scattered (In Progress)

Billy Talent

  • Fallen Leaves (Done)
  • Surrender (Done)
  • Rusted From The Rain (Done)

- The River by Good Charlotte ft. M. Shadows and Synyster Gates (Almost Done [Little Details])

- Give me a Sign by Breaking Benjamin (In Progress)

- Lie To Me by 12 Stones (In Progress)

- Paradise by Coldplay (Done)

- Monster by Skillet (In Progress)

- A Beautiful Lie by 30 Seconds to Mars (In Progress)

..among others.

Most of these songs are fairly easy, so I decided to challenge myself a bit. I started to learn Toxicity by System of a Down.

The fills during the choruses are definietly faster than any of the songs listed above, but I feel that I have them pretty much completed, just need a little more tweaking and making the fills more even. The verses are pretty straightforward, and pretty slow, so those are no problem. However, the part of the song that will probably be the hardest (for I haven’t tried it yet) is from 2:46-3:03 in the video above. I will be making this song my priority, so hopefully I will have this done by my next post, and find a way to record myself playing to it.

I think trying to learn this song relates to the quote at the beginning of my post. I didn’t necessarily think I would be able to tackle the fills in Toxicity as easily as I did, and knowing I can do that certainly is reassuring. I think discovering that I am better than I thought I was gives me more motivation to try playing with harder songs, or try harder techniques, and in turn, get better at drums faster. I feel like I am on the right track, and this motivation will only push me farther. :)

French Revolution Wrap-Up

February 15, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

For our last unit of Socials, we studied the French Revolution, and I put up posts acting as a Bourgeoisie during the French Revolution.

I wanted to post this earlier, but one of my comments were still awaiting approval. However, it still has not been approved, so I decided to post this before I forget.


Jacques reply to Clarisse

The King is Dead!

Another one bites the dust…


The King. Dead. (Awaiting approval of comment)

No More Louis!

Journal of Louis #3


Another one bites the dust….

February 15, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

November 20th, 1793

Dear Clarisse,

I feel like such an idiot! When King Louis was killed, I was so confident life was going to change for the better. I was so confident that Robespierre would be a much better leader than Louis. I thought all his promises came from the heart. I thought he would remember what he fought for, and that he would stick with his beliefs.I thought he would remember what it was like to be a citizen, stuck under a selfish ruler.

However, Robespierre is no better than Louis. He promised us a better France, and we all trusted him. But then he took that trust and used it to his advantage. He used that trust to get into a position of power, so he could get personal gain. This isn’t the first time we have seen people take advantage of the power they have. And now, especially with all we lost during the Revolution, I wonder if we were better off keeping Louis. I can’t believe what Robespierre has turned into.

Hopefully, one day, he sees sense and realizes that he has turned into the man he worked so hard to overthrow. Until then, we are no better off than we started.


Jacques Bernard


The King is Dead!

February 12, 2012 by · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

January 28th, 1793

Dear Clarisse,

There is no need to apologize for the delay! How could I be mad at you for not replying during the Revolution? In fact, how could I be mad at anything when King Louis is finally dead! I was indeed at the execution, and in my opinion, things can only get better. King Louis was bringing France down. No more inequality! No more selfish King Louis! I agree that the execution was very satisfying, but I wish we could have seen Louis beg more for our forgiveness.. though I guess you can’t have everything in life! Such as an immediate response from you!

In all seriousness though, I think you worry too much Clarisse. France is much better off without the selfish Louis as our King. I assure you, whoever takes charge of France next will prove to be a much better leader than Louis. And that person could be anyone. It could even be me! Can you imagine that? King Jacques. Sounds beautiful. Anyways, as I was saying earlier, the new leader of France will most certainly turn France around. We have learned from our mistakes. We now know which type of people make bad leaders, and what the people of France want. Now, all we need is a person who is willing to fulfill those needs and… voila! A perfect France.

Personally, I am excited for this new start, and I hope you are too. I hope you take full advantage of this new freedom, and also hope you reply soon.

- Jacques


In-Depth #2

February 8, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Two weeks into the in-depth project, and I am pretty happy with how my drumming is going. My mentor, Shea, has rented my a drum set, and I am really liking the feel and sounds of it. Here it is:

Note: The napkins taped on the toms/snare is to muffle the sound a little, so it isn’t as loud when I play.

I am currently looking to buy a drum set, just so I have one for myself, and I don’t have to worry as much if something happens, or I want to bring the drum set somewhere.

As for my drumming, I have been making good progress. I feel comfortable using all parts of my drum set in the same piece/exercise/etc. (hi-hat, cymbals, toms, bass drum). I have noticed that my weakness is probably my bass drum. I am too inconsistent and sometimes hit the bass drum more times than intended. Therefore, my mentor has written out a sheet of bass drum exercises to practice.

I have already started to cover some songs, but nothing to amazing as of yet. I am hoping to get a set-up for recording me playing drums, as buying recording equipment for my drums may cost me a bit too much money, and recording myself with a normal camera probably won’t turn out the best results. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find out a way by my next blog post.

Leader In My Community

February 8, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

There are leaders everywhere. I strongly believe that inside every person, is a very strong leader. A person that can make a difference. But most people don’t realize that, and never let their inner leader show. In my community, one person who definietly doesn’t shy away from being a leader is Elanna Warmerdam.

Elanna is the Volunteer Coordinator at the Burquitlam Lions Care Centre. When I started volunteering there, Elanna was the one that welcomed and introduced me there. She taught me everything I needed to know as a volunteer, from which residents belonged on which floors, to how to feed the residents, or how to clean up after tea time.

As the volunteer coordinator, Elanna runs into a lot of volunteers who are just in it for the hours, or to write it on their resume, instead of actually wanted to help and make a difference. This is when Elanna really does what she does best. Instead of just kicking them out, she sets about changing them, and making them understand the impact they could have, if they came and volunteered for 4 hours, for the sake off helping the residents.

As I know from volunteering at the Care Centre in the past, it can be frustrating at times dealing with the residents. A lot of the residents have certain disabilities that make it hard to communicate with them. However, when Elanna comes across a problem, she doesn’t get discouraged. Instead, she gets motivated and tries harder to get over the obstacle.

Elanna is a leader because she doesn’t just volunteer to make herself look good, she volunteers and helps out to make a difference. She sets an example for the other volunteers, instead of only telling them what to do. Elanna is truly someone that cares and enjoys what they do, and I’m sure having a person like Elanna work for you must be an amazing privilege.

Jacques’ reply to Clarisse

February 1, 2012 by · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

(Clarisse’s original letter)

June 19th, 1788

Dear Clarisse,

Clarisse! What a pleasant surprise! Of course I remember… I was quite stunned at how fast that pie flew toward me! I’m sure you would have broke my glasses had you hit me… And oh yes, that maid has since long been gone. We caught her trying to smuggle some of our jewelry. Could you imagine that! Oh well, she tasted great. Filthy, disgusting peasants should be HONOURED to serve us. Ahh, the Versailles gardens.. I remember how mad my father got at me for coming home so late, and sopping wet too!

And Clarisse, you aren’t the only one. Everyone around me, and everyone that I talk to feels the same. The money we work hard for everyday should stay with us, not go to Louis! Some of my neighbours feel like protesting, and I must say, if this keeps up, I may start to feel the same way. At least lower the taxes for crying out loud! The amount that we pay is preposterous! We should be able to reap the rewards of our hard work…

Oh don’t get me started on those damn nobles… I just can’t stand having so many people have it better than me… Ugh walking around in their fancier clothes, and eating their fancier food, and living in their fancier house. All that could be ours! And that is a great idea. We must show our displeasure, and force the king to change his ways… As I mentioned earlier, I am most positive that many people will help us along the way. And rest assured, I have received your letter without any problems, so your head will still be on your shoulders for the next little while…

However, the dinner sounds like a splendid idea. Maybe we can discuss more in private, in case THIS letter falls into the wrong hands. I won’t be able to make it this week, I am quite busy, but the week after sounds good. I must go now, I think I smell my lunch burning downstairs… It sure is hard to find a competent maid nowadays.

It was nice hearing from you, and I hope to see you soon.

Best regards, Jacques Bernard