For all the stupid drummer jokes out there (literally jokes about drummers being stupid), we have an awful lot to deal with – and that takes brain power.
Where we don’t have key signatures and modes to keep track of, we do have limb coordination, setting the feel and tempo, and of course, a silly amount of gear to contend with. In my own personal experience, that translates into some pretty meticulous habits and attitudes about musicmaking.
I tend to be the overthinker, the logistics maker, the one most worried about load in times and stage arrangements… Because I have to bring so many pieces of gear for even a basic setup, I also tend to be the “quartermaster” – keeping track of all the gear and remembering the little details about what we have to bring along to the gig.
It goes well beyond gig prep and scrutinizing the time, though… Drummers are some of the weirdest, most meticulous, picky musicians around. Jury’s out as to why this might be the case.
Of course, we’ve all had our intellectual egos stroked by the articles proclaiming the drummers are the smartest, but does all this meticulousness help or hurt us?
Either way, it certainly sets us apart from many of our musical counterparts.