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10 Things We Hate About Drumming

Despite public opinion, being a drummer isn’t easy, nor is it all fun and games. There are a ton of reasons why people start drumming, and probably more reasons why people stop drumming. We, the drummers, are the unsung heroes of music and the pounding heartbeats of rhythmic divinity. We keep the beat alive even as we take a beating, ourselves. Sometimes, in those moments of pure introspection (usually as we wait for the other instruments to get tuned up), we even ask ourselves if drumming is worth it. As much as we absolutely LOVE drumming, drums, rhythm and percussion instruments… we can admit that sometimes, being a drummer is a drag.

What are the worst parts of drumming? We’d make you a list, but, we’ve been told we can’t even count that high (buh-dum-dum!). Actually, we have a list of the biggest complaints we have, or have overheard, throughout the years.Here are 10 reasons you should never, ever become a drummer. 10 reasons to stay far away from a drum set, marching drums or hand percussion instruments. 10 reasons we don’t like drumming, and neither will you:

  1. Moving drums is a pain. Not only do you have to securely move drums from one gig to another, or to different practice sites, but, you have hardware, stands, sticks and other accessories to manage – all by yourself. You’re going to have to have a large vehicle to hold all that gear, and forget public transportation.
  2. There’s never enough space for your drum kit. Drums require a lot of floor space, and that’s not always a consideration when you’re about to be on a stage or even in your own home. Being at the back of a stage doesn’t mean you get less breathing room than the other musicians, either.
  3. Nobody knows the drummer is IN the band. You may not get any face time with the audience, in addition to having very little room to actually move on stage. That means that when you get off the stage, you get to hear what an AMAZING band that just played, without any personal recognition for your efforts.
  4. Even if you are seen as part of the band, you’re “just the drummer. ” For some unknown reason, drummers are often mistaken as less valuable members of the band and are not appreciated as musicians. Anyone can drum, right?
  5. Drums tend to have one volume. Drums come with no way to change their volume – either you play them at “loud,” or you play them at “louder.” Muffling your drums isn’t like putting your phone on “vibrate,” and there’s no real way to play as softly as a lullaby – they’re DRUMS.
  6. People who TRY to drum and the unsteady rhythms of life. If you’re a drummer, then you know that there is rhythm all over the place. Turn signals in your car, your dog’s panting, the drip of a faucet and the annoying guy in your office who likes to “air drum.” If the rhythm isn’t steady, that twitching eye of yours will become quite the metronome. Twitch. Twitch. Twitch.
  7. Musicians without rhythm. Your guitarist may be great at everything but keeping a steady beat. Your vocalist can hit some high notes, but, cannot count a measure to save his life. Both of them could very likely accuse you of rushing the beat, or falling behind. Just smile and keep going, they’ll catch on eventually.
  8. Drums and gear can be REALLY expensive. When you start out drumming, it’s all about getting the best drum value for your money; quality drums that are affordable are your best friends. Then, you realize there are a million different drums, cymbals, sticks, accent percussion instruments, racks, thrones… and the next thing you know, there is no car, stage or home large enough to house your “precioussessessss,” and you’re broke.
  9. Did we mention all of the drum gear you’re going to want, um, NEED? There are reasons why people startup businesses that sell the things they love most: so they get to play with all of the wondrous toys first. But, as a drummer, you’re only allowed to sample a few different types of drums, cymbals or sticks before you have to buy them, unless you can find a really great online drum store that’s jam-packed with drums, percussion instruments, videos and expert advice. Hmmm.
  10. “Drumming is easy.” If you believe this, then we’re voting you out of the club.

Funny thing about the 10 things we hate about drumming… none of them actually make us hate drumming. Annoyances come and go, frustrations fall away, and there is nothing better than the serenity that comes from beating the heck out of instruments with sticks (or hands!). We can say, however, that drumming is not for the weak of mind, body or spirit. But, y’all already know that. You’re drummers!

15th Oct 2014 Kristin Stancato

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