p.8 Make Ready Peter Maybury ISBN 978 0 9566293 3 3, Gall editions, 2015
Aside from some lessons early on playing from sheet music, I’m a selftaught drummer. I did a lot of listening, particularly to the specific sounds of each drum and cymbal, and how they were struck, but I never found the discipline to work my way through the rudiments,* or to fix the things I was doing wrong. Over time it became apparent that this was to do with a suspicion of mastery, and the value (or purity is it?) of the untrained sound. In part to compensate for this poor technique I devise a hybrid acoustic/electronic drumkit, and rearrange the basic elements, dispensing with almost all the cymbals and all the standard toms. These are substituted for variable pitch RotoToms, and electronic pads which can be assigned any voice – a kick drum in place of a cymbal, a hi-hat in place of a tom for example. Nothing very unusual here, but enough disruption to unlearn, and prompt new ways of playing. I’ve become convinced that drumming is the transfer of energy: about how you hit the drum to push the air across the room so the listener feels some of that energy too. Ironically my technique has been improving lately.