New Year 2013 (formerly entered as 1913, my birthdate….) drummer resolutions & reflections: Sorry drummers for treading on sacred ground!

Apologies regarding my article “How to be a Better Drummer in 10 Steps Nobody Ever Talks About. This article was tongue-in-cheek!

Thanks to those who read it and complained, though. It flatters me that my words touch so many drummers and other musicians. Often drummers observe I never have anything bad to say, or that I avoid controversy. They certainly changed their tune when they read this one.

Staying positive is the only way. But occasionally I want to enjoy the freedom to criticize common failings. They all originate from my own deficiencies…so it ain’t just you. Locally, I’ve had drummers ostracize me, or so it feels, due to my presence in music media (not just MD but huge tracts of Drums Etc,  bits in Rhythm, Drums & Percussion, Down Beat, and some Japanese title I can’t write with this font). Too bad. I’ve always learned when people criticize me: my writing and my playing, beginning in grade school when another drummer, and now great songwriter, leveled with me (exact quote): Wittet, you’re shit!

Yanking your chain in 10 easy drummer-steps

Regard that article, however, you gotta know that in one sense I was having you on. I was simply trying to get you thinking and reevaluating the way you approach our common instrument.

My worst fear, for example, when I was talking about never riding with brushes, or never using nylon – strand brushes, was that I’d offend some of my mentors.

Dave Mattacks, for example, taught me a lot of brush technique by example—he’d let me sit side stage and check out his fascinating moves, sounds, and grooves. And most of the time he was using Trixon early 1960s nylon brushes, no wire in sight. And he kindly gave me 2 pairs and I use them all the time. So, yes, I break my own rules.

DM is no woos, if you think I was depicting nylon brush users so. DM didn’t, thank God. I gave him a call just in case.

Incidentally, speaking of woos, John Bonham loved DM’s playing; even had his, then pre-teen son, learn Bonham grooves.

I’ve obviously got some people reconsidering the tenets of time and technique. I’ve got nothing to retract but, again, take it all with a grain of salt. Take everything I write with a grain of salt—except my gear reviews, here and in Modern Drummer. I will never steer you astray intentionally. As for yanking that chain, well….