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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:

THREE LAWS OF DRUMMING.
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

Explanation.
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.”