You need a good sense of tact not only when playing drums. The whole life consists of not letting yourself get out of the beat and keeping your own rhythm.
A good sense of tact is also needed for fitness training. Especially for workouts with drumsticks like Drums Alive or Pound Fit.
Tactfulness helps not only ourselves, but also our fellow human beings.
There are many reasons to take a closer look at tact.
According to the dictionary, tact is the division of a musical, especially rhythmic, sequence into equal units, each with a main accent at the beginning and a fixed subdivision.
Not infrequently, however, tact is also used to describe the ability to spare other people a bad feeling in the interpersonal sphere.
Unfortunately not all people with a good sense of tact have a good sense of tact…
Who sets the beat?
In a band the bassist and the drummer. The rest of the band listens to the hi-hat and adapts to the beat. That is how I learned it. With Björn Etzel, the owner of the Drummer Circle in Karlsruhe. Because there I took my first drum lesson.
And I have to say, it has been really interesting. I learned a lot about tact, notes and the drums themselves. Also, my respect for drummers has grown even more than it already was. And on top of that Björn Etzel has a markedly sense of tact!
Rhythm, Differentiation & Timing
Playing drums requires some skills that are also needed on the sporting level. Because only with the help of coordinative skills complex movements – which in my opinion includes playing drums in any case – can be performed harmoniously.
In addition to the rhythm, the perception and the implementation, the differentiation is an important component in both the sporting and the musical area. Finely tuned movements with the highest level of movement accuracy and economy are not only indispensable for a drummer, but also for many athletes.
The timing, the temporal orientation, is also of great importance for both areas. The drummer, as already mentioned, sets the beat for the whole band. And the athlete needs perfect timing, for example, in order not to start too early or to pass the ball to the teammate at exactly the right time.
There are also parallels in the technical performance between playing the drums and various sporting physical activities.
So I learned from Björn Etzel of the Drummer Circle that there is no “right” way to play drums. Every drummer has his own technique and still everything sounds good and is right. A drummer only uses a wrong technique if it tweaks and pinches somewhere during playing.
This reminds me a lot of the practice of yoga. There, too, everyone has to find one’s own way. The practice of the asanas is basically predetermined, but nevertheless every yogini and yogi has an own interpretation.
Tweaking and pinching should be avoided as much as possible, not only during yoga, but also in all other sports.
Really undeniable is also that yoginis and yogi have a very special tactfulness on the interpersonal level. Few people are so sensitive and can respond to their fellow human beings in this way.
Furthermore, the equipment is not unimportant – in all areas of sports and when playing drums…
Snare, Bass Drum & Co
Good equipment is important in the sporting as well as the musical field. Whether dumbbells, yoga blocks or drumsticks, the equipment must not only be suitable for the person, but also fulfil its (training) purpose. Each aid or part of the drum kit has its own tasks.
For example, the crash of the Chinese basin in the metal scene introduces a new song part. Often many supposedly special things can actually be transferred into “real life” and a crash in China initiated a new (though unwanted) part of our lives for all of us. So I originally wanted to write this blog post already in April. Right after the Dark Easter Metal Meeting. With a photo of Jonas Renske (Katatonia), who I think is one of the most tactful musicians at all. (Please take a look at this song!). Unfortunately, the said crash came from China, Dark Easter Metal Meeting was cancelled and the Corona pandemic has had a grip on us since then. So tactfulness is even more important than usual…
Besides the whole set-up of the drum kit, the drumsticks are of course extremely important for the right beat of a drummer.
Drumsticks are also perfectly suited for improving physical fitness. A coordination training can even be integrated during a live gig!
By the way, studies of the British universities of Gloucestershire and Chichester with the rock band “Blondie” have shown that drummers of rock bands are physically challenged and have excellent fitness. (Which is probably something the drummers of metal bands know even without a study).
But you do not have to be a drummer in a rock or metal band to improve your fitness with drumsticks. There are indeed fitness offers that are done with drumsticks.
Pound Fit, a kind of Pilates with cardio elements and drumsticks, was founded by the two American amateur drummers Christina Peerenblom and Kirsten Potenza. The drumsticks, called “Ripstix”, are equipped with additional weight so that they have a similar training stimulus as small dumbbells. Drumming is done on the floor, the mat or with the sticks against each other.
Drums Alive, on the other hand, uses balls to drum on. Also sometimes on the ball of the course neighbor. I tried Drums Alive myself and thought it was really cool. To Sepulturas Ratamahatta I could imagine that very well!
Drums Alive is based on approaches of sound therapy, combines traditional aerobic elements with the rhythm of drumming and is ideal for stress relief.
The inventor Carrie Ekins developed it after a hip operation. She started out sitting on a ball and drumming on cardboard boxes out of frustration at not being allowed to do any sport. And this became the concept for Drums Alive.
With all the musical and sporting aspects, however, one should not forget the second important component of the tact – the tactfulness.
“Tact is the mind of the heart.”Karl Gutzkow
As beautiful as words sung in tact can be, as hurtful and knocking down a single spoken word can be at the wrong time. It can raise hopes where none wanted or should be raised. Sometimes it also destroys hopes that should not have been destroyed…
Therefore you have to be always aware of what you say to whom at what time. You should think before you speak, anticipate the consequences. Often not so easy. And if things like these happened, it takes more than a few drumsticks to restore the right beat.
A few final tacts…
It is important to live a life in your own tact.
But it would be good to keep the tact and ask before hitting the neighbour’s ball. So, in the figurative sense: Please only very carefully invade the privacy of others.
You should never let the drumsticks out of your hand in life. And especially not the ones you caught at a metal concert!
And last but not least: The lyrics of life should be in time with the beat. In other words, even a single disharmonic word can throw others out of tact. So please have a look at the music sheet of life before you accidentally play a wrong note at the wrong time.
If you need more information about the musical tact or about drums, I can highly recommend the Drummer Circle Karlsruhe with its tactful boss Björn Etzel. He has been teaching prospective drummers for more than 10 years and meanwhile guitar lessons are also offered there. In this time, which brings us all a bit out of tact, Björn is certainly grateful for many new contacts. (Me, too by the way…)
Therefore: Stay tuned and recommend us!