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Archive for May, 2008

The Three Laws of Drumming

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

What Asimov did for robots, I now humbly attempt to do for drumming.

Of course, the last thing I want to do is stifle someone creativity by placing a bunch of rules about what you can and can’t do while performing your music. However, in order to clarify what needs to be heeded in order to play respectable grooves, I submit the following:

Rule #1: A drummer must Respect the Groove
Rule #2: A drummer must follow the ensemble except where such action would conflict with the First Law
Rule #3: A drummer may embellish as long as such creativity does not conflict with the First or Second Law

It’s very simple. The order of importance: groove, ensemble, self. The rules establish the order of importance for the three main elements in drumming. Rule number 3 refers to self and ego. Many drummers mistakenly place this first on the list of importance and the groove suffers. Rule number 2 refers to the group as a whole. The group must play together for the music to sound good. But a drummer must never sacrifice the groove to follow an ensemble that is not playing good time. You”re the drummer, show them where the pocket is! Rule number 1: groove. It is most important and should not be sacrificed for ensemble or self. Easy, right?

As a friend me told upon reading these laws, “we’ve got an awful lot of rhythmic criminals running around out there these days.”

YEA! Big Band

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

I’ve been asked to lend my drum set chops to the annual spring concert for the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps on May 25th at Springfield High School in Springfield, PA. For those of you who don’t know, the Cadets preview the music selections for their summer show along with a few Cadets classics.

I’ll be playing for the Cadets and Friends Big Band lead by Cadet alumnus Brian Wilkie (Brian and I marched in the Cadets together in the early 80’s). He”s picked out a couple of Maynard Ferguson charts and the Buddy Rich chart, Channel One Suite. This is going to be fun!

An Evening with the Cadets begins at 7:30 p.m. at Springfield High School in Springfield, Pa. For more details and ticket information visit the Youth Education in Arts website.

See you there!