ScrumOfFun or Local Drummer Boy

I aspire to be a drum busker.

Seriously, look at those guys – they are a breathing and addictively audible example of how “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. I’ve seen some of these dudes with just upside-down paint buckets, but sometimes their kits have more variety.

As a classically trained pianist, I’m bummed that I can’t roll around a piano with me and perform in public – this species of instrument, if out and about, is generally found in restaurants, bars, or concert halls… not parks or public squares. For the most part, the piano makes you come to it. What a dick.

The piano is also a tough cookie to fall asleep with. Trust me. As a kid, it first occurred to me to sleep with my instrument, not girls. So picture this, if you will: there I’d be, laying face-up on the piano bench, one hand on the keys, trying to play myself a lullaby. Of course, my arm would fall if I were tired enough, and then the music would stop, and then I’d wake up. It sucked.

So you can imagine my joy when I first got a guitar. Junior year of high school, I bought it off a guy who borrowed it from another guy – a second-hand hand-me-down. That first night, I took it to bed with me. With it resting on my chest, I’d play a little something and fall asleep. The next morning, I woke up in a cold sweat from nightmares, only to realize my breathing had been constricted due to this thing on top of me all night. On the plus side, my hands hadn’t really moved all night, so I just picked up from where I think I left off. It was awesome.

But I digress all over myself. Sorry. I blame the piano.

See, playing the piano well ain’t a cake walk. Like all things requiring mastery, if that’s what you want, it takes time and effort – both of which I happily put in as a kid – growing up, I’d play for 2 hours a day, stopping ’cause my Mom would remind me to do my homework.

I composed, too. Little stuff, nothing too fancy, but that didn’t stop my dear piano from being my creative vent. What a magical (and simply mechanical) machine – just walk up to it, with no knowledge of what’s up, press a key, and kinetic energy is turned into sound. It is efficient. It is powerful.

Don’t tell me that ain’t powerful.

When I am behind the piano, I am wielding a weapon: me and this thing can change your emotions.

Don’t tell me that ain’t powerful.

This is power I’d like to give to others, and I’d like to show it is easy to do, or at least easier than one might think. And definitely more fun. This is where drum busking comes back into the picture.

In the spirit of lowering the barrier to entry for performing music, I have this silly idea: Drum Busker Academy. Picture this:

You’re walking down the street on a sunny day, meandering towards a jungle beat just around the corner. You turn the corner, and the previously muffled sounds become clear, just behind a small crowd of tourists holding maps. Approaching the busker, drumming away in a wife beater, you see a second ‘drum kit’, with a sign in front, “Drum with me. Get $1.”

Whether it’s a little kid who ain’t shy, or some guy who’s doing it on a dare, or some gal who’s doing it for Instagram, take this to your logical conclusion. It’s not a fully formed idea, but it’s a fully fun idea.

Don’t tell me that ain’t powerful.