Did you know that late night talk show host, Craig Fergueson, is a drummer? So is actor, Billy Bob Thornton and the Mindfreak himself, Criss Angel. It seems keeping steady rhythm on a set of skins would be pretty easy if Criss Angel can pull it off without the aid of mirrors or camera tricks. But, drumming isn’t as simple as it looks. It is an art form that can only be mastered if you have a little bit of ability and a good teacher.
History says that man has been beating drums since around 6000 BC. Archeologists have dug up hollowed out logs that they believe were used for communication in primitive times. Eventually, the drum became part of rituals and celebrations within tribes. Rhythmic drumming has always been the basis for music. The drum may be the oldest known instrument.
But the drum has come a long way since Caveman Og and The Java Men hit it big with their hit, “Ooh Gah Wah-Wah” in 5902 BC.* Now, you can download drum tracks on your computer and build songs around those electronic drum files. You don’t even need a drummer. You can even play video games and sit in as a session drummer for the Beatles, Guns & Roses and more. But, it’s not real drumming. Don’t confuse the two. In fact, I like to call it the dumbing of drumming. Real drumming takes talent. And real talent is learned.
To truly understand the idiosyncrasies of drumming, you have to sit behind a set of skins and try to sound a good as Neal Peart from Rush.
Peart defines drumming and is widely known as one of the best drummers in the world. That’s not to say there’s not another Neal Peart out there somewhere. But, rest assured, even Peart didn’t get there alone. Chances are he had a wonderful drum teacher to guide him along the way. One who pressed him to practice his craft and find the secrets to keeping incredibly amazing beats.
There’s just something about the drummer that fascinates everyone. He’s usually tucked back behind the band, quietly going about his craft, never trying to over shadow the singer of the lead guitarist. Fact is, the drummer is always the unsung hero of rock show. Without him, there is no band at all. He keeps the beat. He keeps the tempo. He keeps the rhythm. The drummer is the real leader of the band. He’s a magician. Kind of like Criss Angel.
*I just made that up. There were no radio stations back then.
Posted by Grosse Pointe Music Academy Staff
5880 N. Canton Center Rd. Suite 425
Canton, MI 48187