How I Fell From First Chair Drummer to Band Outcast

I watched them hit that old pine floor with perfect syncopation; touch and bounce, touchwood bounce from tip to tip/ bouncing tip to end tapping ratatapping their own rhythm as if guided by unseen puppet strings.

How I Descended From First Chair Drummer To Band Outcast

The drum section in the back left corner of our tiny band room was cordoned off from the rest of the band by a bass drum, three snare drums, three kettle drums, a set of chimes, a full sized gong and a silver glockenspiel on a stand.  

Most days Mr. Green (the band director) worked with different instrumental sections while we in the percussion section sat around waiting to play usually not until the end of the period when to appease us, we played couple of marches.

Out of boredom, my ADD aversion to sitting still and plenty of free time, I visited various vantage points where I could peek through all the cracks between the different percussive instruments at different band members, flirt with a couple of girls or, watch Green his angry face bright red, his pock marked chipmunk cheeks puffed out more than usual, his words cutting and sharp, humiliate various band members who weren’t able to play their parts perfectly, haranguing them to practice more, questioning their commitment.  

”If you’re not committed to practicing at least a half hour each night then get out of here right now!”

I could move around back there as long as I didn’t interfere with his teaching which eventually was why I began the slow descent from first chair drummer to band outcast.

Anger Multiplied

My descent to outcast status wasn’t only because I had the freedom to move around.  It was what I carried in my hands when I moved around; a pair of 2B drum sticks in constant motion against the side of my leg, banging out the rhythms to Motown or rock songs that constantly flowed through my brain.

Inevitably the tip of one of my flailing sticks would click against another.  If I was real careless I might tap a music stand or send a cymbal zzzzing …… or worse of all,  one or both of my sticks would slip out of my hand.  I’d watch it fall helplessly as my life passed before my eyes, before hitting that old pine floor with perfect syncopation to touch and bounce, touchwood bounce from tip to tip/ratatapping their own rhythm,  bouncing tip to end tapping out their own improvisation as if guided by unseen puppet strings. 

Which infuriated Green!

More … Much More … 

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