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ISSUE #55 \__\__\___THE____/__/__/ Jul 5, 2001
_______________TEMPO DISPATCH ___________
Newsletter For Drummers and Drumming Enthusiasts
Copyright Bill Powelson 2001 all rights reserved.
____________'IT'S ALL ABOUT DRUMS'_______
Tips * Tricks * Hints * Ads * Freebies * Lessons *
_________NOW OVER 7,5OO SUBSCRIBERS!__________
TABLE OF CONTENTS: What is in this issue?
* NEW DOWNLOAD for paid students . . .
1. DO YOU HAVE AN APTITUDE FOR DRUMMING?
Get the 'STRAIGHT ANSWER', in this article.
2. Humor? THE MAN AND THE OSTRICH
3. Play the new DRUMMERS TRIVIA GAME.
Drummer's Trivia Game
DRUMMING APTITUDE / SELF-TEST
IS THERE A DRUMMER WITHIN YOU,
TRYING TO GET OUT?
You can EASILY make your own judgement
about this and that judgement will be from within
YOUR OWN HEART. No one knows YOU, like YOU know yourself.
You can be certain this kind of 'SELF-ASSESSMENT' will
be TOTALLY honest . . .
HERE'S HOW . . .
THE 'BACKBEAT' IS EVERYTHING to the aspiring
drummer, as I've said in other lessons. It's the KEY
to the whole-ball-of-wax. Can you 'feel' and HEAR
THE BACKBEATS as you listen to music routinely on the radio?
Can you clap in-time, with the snare-backbeats?
If so, you most definitely SHOULD get serious about
For a FREE E-MAIL LESSON, that explains exactly how to
'FEEL THE BACKBEAT', ask for 'TD #16' in a special
note to me at:
Visit that lesson, right now at:
Feeling the Backbeat
WORKING DRUMMERS . . . Those drummers we all admire,
have developed a DEEP (virtually uncanny) 'sensitivity'
for the backbeat. It's the thing that 'mesmerizes' us
as a song is playing. It's the thing that makes
people dance, stomp and clap their hands. It's almost
Many people can 'feel' the beackbeats, but
too many OF THOSE SAME PEOPLE just don't realize that
this SPECIAL TALENT is a MAJOR INGREDIENT TO THEIR
The drummers main job, on the gig . . . (or in a band),
is to LOCK AND HOLD onto that BACKBEAT . . . so the
other musicians in the band can play 'in-time' WITHOUT
WORRYING so much about the tempo and the timing of
the music. We must help THEM feel what they are doing.
All the musicians in a band will be relying on the
BACKBEAT FLOW . . and they all want a drummer (or rhythm
section) who'll MAKE the flow happen for them, 'effortlessly'
as they play, over the top.
This allows them to concentrate deeper on the
multiple-complexities of their own musical expressions
(ie; melodies, harmonies and other techniques.)
At the risk of sounding too much like 'Jeff Foxworthy'
(the comedian) here . . .
"YOU WILL KNOW YOU ARE A DRUMMER . . .(IF)"
* If you are OBSESSED with the BACKBEAT.
* If you have no trouble finding/feeling it in a song
* If you can NATURALLY feel the backbeats of a song,
even though the drummer (on a recording) ISN'T PLAYING.
This gets easier as we practice with recorded music and
as we develop a DEEPER OBSESSION for that SPECIAL
FEEL. It'll grow like cancer if we learn to LISTEN DEEPLY
and routinely play along 'in-time' with ENOUGH recorded music.
HOW TO DEVELOP THAT 'FEEL' FOR THE BACKBEAT:
Remember: When we play in a 'live' band . . . there's
no (other) drummer to follow . . . We must INSTINCTIVELY
KNOW and INSTINCTIVELY FEEL that backbeat flow . . . Then
LOCK-ON and HOLD IT for the other musicians in the band.
We slowly BUILD this solid-sensitivity (or feeling) for
the backbeat by playing, playing, PLAYING . . . ALONG
WITH virtually EVERY RECORDED SONG WE CAN GET OUR HANDS
ON. We learn to focus on the repeating (snare) backbeats
and we learn to consistently CONNECT 'in-time' with the
drummers on the recordings, AS we listen.
Nearly anyone, (7-IN-10 PEOPLE) CAN do it . . . but
ONLY those who are somewhat OBSESSED with that 'mesmerizing
feel' for the backbeat flow, will 'CONTINUALLY' do it . . .
for the SHEER PLEASURE of doing it.
If you are one of those people . . . you are a potential
Those who DO become obsessed with this backbeat thing,
. . . Those who CONTINUALLY play along for the SHEER
PLEASURE, will PREDICTABLY be the very same people who'll
enjoy SUCCESS AS DRUMMERS. They'll often go PRO, whether
they WANT to become a professional drummer or not.
EVERYTHING . . . just seems to unfold, naturally
NOTE: We are PLAYING DRUMS anytime we clap our hands, or
bang on a table in-time, (or in-sync) with the backbeat
flow of a song. This fact ALONE, makes it EASY to spot
any 'POTENTIAL' pro-drummer.
IN OTHER WORDS . . . you'll KNOW you have the
aptitude . . . IF jamming/banging (with recorded music)
becomes an obsession. Something you'll do for hours-on-end,
without pay . . . because the thrill of locking onto that
backbeat-flow is SO MUCH FUN!
ANOTHER THOUGHT: It's a kick to watch and SPOT all
the POTENTIAL drummers in a crowd at a concert or revival.
TRY THIS FOR KICKS AT A
NIGHT-CLUB, CONCERT OR REVIVAL!
Learn to watch for potential drummers in the
crowd. Make a little game out of it.
The POTENTIAL drummers are the ones CLAPPING
(OR AIR-DRUMMING) IN-SYNC with the BACKBEAT.
They 'FEEL' it INSTINCTIVELY. They'll be
totally hypnotized by the BACKBEAT flow!
OTHER FACTORS . . .
Other factors come into play in the making of a drummer,
but they're all more-easily-developed factors . . . they're
more (right-brain?) controllable. (I think that's an ok way to
* COORDINATION . . . Anyone can DEVELOP the special
COORDINATING abilities . . .
I say this after watching a TOTALLY OBSESSED,
14-year-old, 'POLIO VICTIM', go pro. It was VERY DIFFICULT
for that little guy . . . but his obsession for the backbeat
OVERCAME ALL OBSTACLES. He was COMPELLED to overcome all the
physical limitations and eventually became a VERY GOOD
working-drummer (not great, but very good) against ALL the
odds. I saw this happen with my own eyes . . . (HE did
the work. OR, maybe I should say . . . he discovered that
secret BACKBEAT 'thrill' . . . and the rest just came naturally,
because of his TOTAL obsession to play, play, play along
with all music.)
* IMAGINATION OR RHYTHMIC-CREATIVITY: Yes . . . this
is another VERY SPECIAL part of drumming too, but it usually
occurs NATURALLY as a result of that OBSESSION for the
backbeat . . . If the obsession is there . . . the rhythmic-
creativity will normally occur as an unavoidable out-growth
Rhythmic creativity is the way we assemble and use the
techniques (beats and rolls), after they are learned . . .
It's they way we IMPROVISE and manipulate those beats and
rolls we know, around the drum set, in accordance with the
flow of the music we are hearing.
YOU'LL excel here . . . I already KNOW it! It's the
You have what it takes! I just know it, and NOW,
so do you!
THE MAN AND THE OSTRICH
A man walks into a restaurant with an ostrich behind him, and as he
sits, the waitress comes over and asks for their order.
The man says, "I'll have a hamburger, fries and a coke," and turns to the
What's yours?" "I'll have the same, "says the ostrich.
A short time later the waitress returns with the order."That will be
$6.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out exact
change for payment.
The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "I'll
have a hamburger, fries and a coke," and the ostrich says, "I'll have the
same." Once again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact
This becomes a routine until late one evening, the two enter again.
"The usual?" asks the waitress. "No, this is Friday night, so I will have
a steak, baked potato and salad," says the man.
"Same for me," says the ostrich. A short time later the waitress comes
with the order and >says, "That will be $12.62." Once again the man pulls
exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.
The waitress can't hold back her curiosity any longer.
"Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact
change out of your pocket every time?"
"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and I
found an old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me two
wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, just
put my hand in my pocket, and the right amount of money would always be
"That's brilliant!" says the waitress. "Most people would wish for a
million dollars ! or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want
for as long as you live!"
"That's right! Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact
money is always there," says the man.
The waitress asks, "One other thing, sir, what's with the ostrich?"
The man replies, "My second wish was for a chick with long legs."
Thanks, to Jim Casey at 'Vermont Drums Online'
for the above. If you are looking for a drumset
bargain, check out Jims' web site.
Your measure of yourself is all that matters! How do
you measure up? This may offer a clue!
END OF TEMPO DISPATCH #55 Jul 5, 2001
Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.