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The Beat of Your Own Drum

29th Oct 2014

Drumming is not just about music and rhythm, but can be a life-long pursuit of self-realization and awareness. The various traits that create a drummer are ever-evolving, from the earliest banging on pots and pans to the extended solo of a drum god, and are enhanced through the study, practice and performance of drumming. Not all drummers dream of stardom, while others are determined to make a name in the drumming world, yet, each drummer is part of a truly unique community that unites the world through rhythm.

Studying and perfecting drumming, the solo drummer takes drumming to an intimate level where the language is emotional, personal and abandoned. Though reclusive at times, a solo drummer has the ability to really understand and communicate the nuances of drumming, music and rhythm, bringing an ultimate expression of the soul that is no less than cathartic for the drummer and audience.

Showing the cooperative nature of humans, ensemble drummers study and memorize lines of rhythm to play in a multi-tonal display of drumming excellence. These drummers can replicate the various instruments within a song, including tone, pitch and emotion, with just a set of drum sticks, mallets or bare hands.

Drum circle drummers, while cooperative, are a complex combination of both solo drummers and ensemble drummers. Through the art of improvisation, these groups of rhythmic experts, novices and those in-between, create a sound that expresses emotion, builds on the strengths of each other and establishes a great metaphor for harmony among a variety of people.

Hand drummers and dancers in Central Park

Studio drummers can be any combination of drummer, from performer to soloist, and are the backbone for all recorded music today. These multi-faceted drummers may have an extensive amount of experience drumming, as well as classes and experience with other instruments, but above all, the studio drummer has the ability to play several different types of drums and styles of music.

Whether sitting behind a drum set or up on a stage, accompanied by dancers and other indigenous instruments, the performing drummer can not only beat out a great rhythm, but also has an X factor that moves within, and beyond, the music. Performers give back to the audience in a way no other drummer can, whether through an emotionally expressive Djembe solo, or the hard-hitting double bass of speed metal.

With the diverse nature of drums and drumming, those who heed the call of the drums can be assured of a journey filled with insight, fun and a life-long understanding of the nature of their own self. Drumming is more than rhythm, more than keeping a song together, it is the essence of the world, and a delightful tribute to all that lies within.