The Drums...

I remember when I was a kid and my brother got a beginning drum set for his 12th birthday. For the next two years, when I would come home from high school, that was all I could think about -- I rushed home to play on those drums. This is probably why I never had a girlfriend in high school, and I'm sure it hurt my grades.

The drum set is probably the most fun instrument for anyone to fool around with, and because it doesn't involve melodies, someone can be tone deaf and still play the drums. That does not mean that the drums are easy -- quite the contrary, the drums require some pretty amazing dexterity with all four limbs. The drums set operates on a pretty simple concept, but it can be one of the most challenging instruments to play well. Think about learning to swim. Then think about learning to swim new strokes. Then think about swimming those strokes, with your arms stroking continuously and then your legs kicking every four strokes or so. Then think about reversing that rhythm, for every stroke you learned...

The funny thing about the drums is that as fun as they are to play, it requires an amazing amount of tedious, hard practice at the drumming rudiments to really develop monster chops. I never had the discipline for that kind of practice. I always thought of the drums as a way to forget about school and make a lot of noise.

The rudiments are designed to train people how to play the finer points of percussion, but while they are always applied to the drum set, they don't really teach a person how to play the set, or how to lay down a beat...