I am missing something. I clearly won't be taken seriously playing fake plastic drums if I continue playing with sticks that have 'Guitar Hero' emblazoned on them. Everyone will know that I'm only playing a game. I need to get a proper pair of drum sticks, then I will be able to sit behind my fake plastic drum kit, watching coloured domes scroll down a screen, and be considered a proper musician at last.
Back in the same shop in London where I bought the practice drum pad, I fear the assistant senses the air of fakosity forming a barrier between me and the real drums in the shop. Maybe what gives me away is how I reply 'I dunno' when he asks what weight and length of sticks I am after. I get the impression real drummers would know a minor detail like this. But when I agree to his suggestion to pick a popular choice of sticks everything changes. With a pair of proper drum sticks in my hands I ascend another rung on the ladder of rock. It can't be long now before I am playing in a stadium.
It is difficult to get an appreciation for the different weight and feel of the proper sticks without a direct comparison to the ones included in the Guitar Hero game, so rather than fiddling with the sticks as I ride the tube home I leave the new pair sticking jauntily out of my bag to show off how much more rock I am than anyone else on the train. Back home, the difference in weight to the stock Guitar Hero sticks is immediately noticeable. The proper sticks are much heavier, almost letting me empathise with Zoso's fear for his fake plastic drums whenever he let me have a go1. But fake plastic drums are designed to be hit, I won't hold back with a bit more weight.
The heavier sticks don't seem to hinder my playing except for sustaining a really quick beat, although perhaps I need to practice the faster songs to build up some stamina. In fact, the new sticks help me play rolls more easily and smoother, maybe because the weightier sticks help maintain some momentum. The main drawback to the new sticks is that dropping one now has rather more gravity, with a real possibility of breaking my foot if I'm not careful. As long as it's not my kick pedal foot I should be okay.
The new sticks definitely help my playing, just as my continuing practice does. I think my next step in taking Guitar Hero too seriously may be heeding a friend's advice and getting too-short tennis shorts and sweatbands.