Below is a picture of Max. He was a part of last years ‘Mom & Kids’ drumming groups I facilitated at my house. Max is just one year old when this picture was taken. He mostly observed everyone playing the drums/percussion and then one day decided to straddle the drum and start playing on his own.
He has me beat. I didn’t touch a drum until I was five years old and they were technically pots, pans and wash basins.
One of the most fascinating facts that I have learned thus far in regards to rhythm and repetition was from Dr. Bruce Perry. Dr. Perry is a Neuroscientist who heads an organization called The Child Trauma Academy. Bruce and his team developed the Neuro-sequential development model of the brain. A very basic description of this model is that the brain develops from the inside out and that trauma occurring on lower levels must be treated at the level of occurrence.
They began to time the repetitious rocking of clients with Autism and found that they would rock at 60-90 beats per minute or intervals thereof. This is the same beats per minute as the intrauterine heart rate of the mother.
They deduced that the child was rocking in order to stimulate the memory and comfort of the womb conditions.
Our very first piece of rhythmical music is our Mothers Heart.
I love touring. Traveling, experiencing new places and meeting new people brings me a tremendous amount of joy. Below is a picture of The Wedgewoods, a Ska band I played drums for and toured across Canada with. I think this is us playing in either Edmonton or Banff for 2 drunk people and the bar staff. Ah, the glamorous life of a touring band….
Music is a love.
I appreciate musicians because they typically end up working their asses off and invest upwards of $30 000 into their craft with little to no financial return. Perhaps that may seem like a waste but there is really no describing the freedom that comes with being able to express yourself through music. I do believe however that ANY artist can carve out a decent living in the commerce game when they accept that 90% is of the game is marketing.
Below is a picture of me tuning the drums that my brother Mark gave me when I was 11 years old…
And this is a picture of me working as a mannequin to make some extra cash while on tour…..
My mother informed me that the only reason that my brother Mark and I play drums is because of her love for Gene Krupa. Thanks mom! Thanks Gene!
One of my all time favorite Big Band songs is entitled ’Sing, Sing, Sing’. Click here to watch the video. Gene Krupa approached the Slingerland drum company circa 1950 and requested that they make drums using metal lug braces as opposed to rope. Traditionally, drum skins were fastened with rope and it was a pain the arse to change a skin. What he did was revolutionary and he is responsible for the drum set as we know it today. What better way to celebrate this factoid than to watch Gene and Buddy Rich’s classic drum battle. Click here.
I do not necessarily consider myself a drummer. Drumming is such a part of who I am and what I am about that it transcends the label. Or perhaps that’s just my bullshit way of over thinking everything. Without a doubt, the universe would implode if it were not for rhythm. Rhythm is the organizational element to music and life. I for one, would not want to live without it.
I am amazed at how influence and inspiration continue to do their thing in the world. I’m sure glad that my mom was into Gene Krupa and virtually forced her kids to become students of the drums.