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Don’t Drum and Drive: Your Drumming Habits behind the Wheel

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There you are, minding your own business, when you notice flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror. You think to yourself, “Was I speeding? Why am I being pulled over?” and then go through the hundreds of possible traffic violations you may have committed while innocently driving down the road. Once you are safely pulled off to the side of the road, the officer approaches and asks if you’ve been drinking.

“No, sir, I don’t drink and drive,” is a likely response to the officer’s question.

“Then why were you weaving all over the road?” the officer continues.

It dawns on you that your latest steering wheel drum solo has officially made you look like a lunatic, which might be fine, if you weren’t about to be handed a traffic ticket or put though the sobriety testing rounds. Oops.

Drumming and driving (sadly) don’t always mix, and this isn’t the only car-and-drummer situation we’ve (ahem) heard about. In fact, it seems that playing drums while in the car is a natural by-product of being a drummer. Same with a desk, counter, wall… we just like to drum, on everything. The problem with drumming in a car is pretty clear, even though we might want to ignore it. As with anything you do while driving, there are safety issues at hand that should never be neglected. Still, we think it’s a pretty great club to belong to.

Some beautifully bizarre drumming while driving habits include:

  • Using your gas pedal, brake or clutch to practice your bass and/or hi-hat foot work. If you do, please be sure you’re at a complete stop.
  • Using your turn signal or hazard lights as a metronome. Drumming with others is fun (just ask any drum circle fanatic!), and the rhythmic beat of a turn signal may be too much to deny. (Bonus points if you have memorized the beats per minute of your turn signal.)
  • Using your steering wheel to replicate your drum set. Everyone drums on their steering wheel, but, drummers may actually assign spots for their various drums in order to sneak in a little more practice, or for when that next drum solo takes over.
  • Using hand percussion instruments as dashboard decorations. Cowbells and tambourines can be attached to a drum set pretty easily. Therefore, there are those out there who have their own accent percussion near and dear to the car-drum set they play while operating a vehicle.

Of course, there are also those drummers who are safely drumming away at a stoplight and turn to see a gawker in the next car over. It is actually fun to gawk at, and much better than just about anything else you could be doing at a stoplight for the entire world to see.

It is true the drummers will drum on anything, and when you’re behind the wheel of a car, it only makes sense that eventually the rhythm will take over and you’ll be tapping along to your favorite song… maybe over and over again. After all, practice makes perfect, right? As long as you’re careful and obeying traffic laws, we can’t really complain – and neither should anyone else. If more people drummed at stop lights, or while stuck in traffic, there would probably be less road rage.

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