RHYTHM

by Ska Ti LI 스카 티 리

Any drummer will tell you that the secret to all life is to find the one. Find the one? What the….?

ONE - - two - - three - - four - - ONE - - two - - three - - four

Oh you little rebel you!! You scream bloody hatred towards conformity, yet you are biologically wired to seek order, sequence, patterns and to conform to the authority of them. Oh yes you do!! And the more you fight against your own biology, the more you empower the conformist from within!!

ONE - - two - - three - - four - - ONE - - two - - three - - four

Find the one! That's what you need to do, you little rebel you! How else are you going to overthrow the establishment and instill your new world order? Did you actually believe that sticking a tattoo needle in your arm, smoking some pot, and soaking up some glib gab from the fembots was going to help you with your little revolt against the MAN?!?!?!

So what it mean to find the one? Haven't you ever seen a beginner drummer struggle to get through a song? Think back to some high school talent show. The pothead who always sat in the back of the class, drawing leaves on a spiral notebook. You didn't know that he and his little thug buddies had plans of world domination through their punk band with an auxiliary DJ/EDM MIDI controller lighting trance dude.

But there they were onstage. The drummer, in the middle of an annoying drumstick twirl, lost the count, lost the beat. The song, the band, the march towards a new world order, falls apart. The audience, the twitchy-fickle-fidgety-smelly things that they are, erupts into a nervous laughter that is quickly suppressed by a douse of political correctness. Why we can't laugh at the stupid band with the stupid drummer! It's not their fault! They are victims of an oppressive society who are forced against their will to attend an oppressive school that was designed by those 19th century architects with a prison fetish!

The drummer lost count and can't find the one, the beginning of the beat. Well, since this is the post-modern 21st century, maybe we don't need the one. Maybe we don't need a beat at all! Why should we all march to such a simple beat! We should all just make noise and call it a song! Counting is for conformists anyway!

ONE - - two - - three - - four - - ONE - - two - - three - - four

The sound of marching to one's death! Why I'm going to rebel! Four, two, three, three, seven!! How do you like that?!?!? HAHA!!!! I'm not only to destroy the beat, I'm going to destroy all the beats!! Anyone who counts or even mimics the sound of a rhythm will be executed in the most random, irrational way!! WAIT!!!! Silence has rhythm too! So I will have to destroy silence as well!! All noise, all the time!!! WAIT!!!! Time? What am I saying? I must destroy time as well!! Disorder…I MUST HAVE DISORDER!!!

Oh how many would-be rebels have worked themselves into an existential gordian knot! How many drummers threw away their sticks because they couldn't master the art of drumming in a week!

ONE - - two - - three - - four - - ONE - - two - - three - - four

The drum teacher finds the student. They find the discarded sticks together and go back to the beginning.

- - two - - three - - four - - ONE

The beginner drummer must learn to count first. Every beat has a beginning and, just as important, a return to the beginning. Otherwise, there is no beat.

Today's rebels have no recollection or knowledge of the original source of oppression. They protest against slave masters that have been long dead, while being suppressed by new slave masters. No sense of history, no sense or beginning, no tempo, no compass, no direction, no rhythm. Just raw emotional clay to be molded by fickle winds.

The teacher ties one hand down so the other hand is free to master its duties. One part, one piece, one duty at a time. The beginning tempo is slow enough to where the mind can anticipate the task at hand. Ok, the next beat is coming up and I know exactly what to do! I need to strike the drum on the three and I need to hit the drum fairly hard. My arm needs to be precisely eight inches from the rim of the drum. My grip is proper for the occasion. My wrists are relaxed. My arm is wound up for the strike. Here it comes! I'm ready to strike. I feel good. I feel confident that I can do this task for this moment coming up. And that's all I need to concern myself with at this moment. The future will take care of itself. Here it comes. Here it comes. Here it commmmmmmes………STRIKE!

From the strike of one drum at the precise moment, the rest of beat falls into place. They now have an anchor to orbit around. The drummer no longer has to worry about the hands. The hands know exactly what to do. The mind just needs to remain quiet while counting. Never lose the count! And once you find the one, keep looking for the next one!! The beginning is coming right up!

Every generation must find its own beginning, its own rhythm. And its not necessary to discard old rhythms for new. My grandparents had a swing beat. My parents had rock and disco beats to dance their bellbottoms to. My generation took the old beats and made them heavier (grunge, ska, industrial, hip hop). The kids in my neighborhood like to glitch and wobble out.

Maybe the politicians could time out of their busy golf schedule to go take a drum lesson. Learn how to make music instead of making noise. Just a thought.

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