How To… Bang the Drum

I’m no snob (fine, that’s something of a slight untruth. I’d love to believe I’m not especially snobbish but I’m only human. There have probably been instances once in a blue moon when I may or may not have looked down on someone ever so slightly less fantastic than I am) but everyone knows that percussion instruments are incredibly easy to play and require next to no musical prowess. And I’m not just saying that as a former flautist.

Put it this way, when you sit down at a piano or behind a set of drums you can get a note out of it that sounds pretty much like that of a professional. I mean, you can’t sustain it or anything but initially you’ll be perfectly well able to fool others into thinking you’re far more talented than you are. Inexpertly tootle a flute or a bassoon and it’ll sound fluffy or reedy or some other variety of awful. I’m definitely not making excuses for the multiple years it took me to sound halfway decent on a wind instrument (work almost entirely undone by ages of non practice or neglect).

But chords are trickier than they might appear. You have to stretch your fingers and everything. And get hands to work essentially independently of one another. Playing the piano is probably too difficult for us to get into right about now. I’ve also only got about a hundred words or so left and that’s simply not enough time to get that particular task accomplished (I know it’s never stopped me before but I do have standards you know).

The drums then. Don’t be fooled, you don’t need coordination or even anything remotely resembling a sense of rhythm. It’s even easier than you always assumed it was (at this point I’m banking on your inflated sense of ego carrying you through without actually spurring you into actually following through and banging the drums). You just pick up a drum, if it’s a little one, or station yourself adjacent to it if it’s one of those awesome big kettle drums and whack away. And then bang the actual drum with either sticks or your bare hands.

Bang the drum – Bryan Adams

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