Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Four Arm Drumming

I just had a wake up call on the drum set. I've been putting a lot of attention on the expressive side of drumming, drumming as a language, drumming out of time as a rainstorm aka I'm John Cage and Merce Cunningham at the same time etc, mischievous ANTIDOTES and joyful FUs to the institution of airbrushed-smooth jazz-perfectionist-I'm looking at myself in the mirror while I over rehearse laptop karaoke-purgatory timekeeping of Swiss watch salsa as a whipped mule of general business-school of drumming. Even though the metronome is a demon there is still a place for Him on the altar as we all must enter the volcano together.

In other words even though a large chunk of my time is spent outside the suburbia called music and into the wilderness called Sound Itself,  I still am always hungry for techniques that make my experiences in all three worlds more pleasurable, competent, and primed for  unlocking the greatest possible power and surprise in the world of innovation and proficiency when I am at the drum set.

Today I realized that so much of my playing is handcentric. I think many players have this, let's call it PPS (Practice Pad Syndrome). I know all the American rudiments and can rock the first 1/3 of Alan Dawson's rudimental ritual over a samba but even still all the focus is on the hands. So today I got rid of one stick and pretended like my right foot was my other hand.  I did the seven stroke roll (and some other and eventually why not all the rudiments?)


I know this is common knowledge but thinking of the feet as 3rd and 4th arms unlocks so much.  It turns common and sometimes boring sticking patterns into grooves and unlocks the feet as soloing and integrated voices of our four limb arsenal. Water the root to enjoy the fruit. For real.