Sunday, January 25, 2009
Back in 1990, I specifically remember a day when I was in Rusted Root's rehearsal space in the Strip District near downtown Pittsburgh. It was really hot at that time, and I was practicing on the drum set by myself. There was no air conditioning, and I couldn't open the windows - but that was all fine by me. I decided to shut the lights off and I started playing an African groove on my tom-toms, (a 6/8 rhythm) and I thought to myself, "I wonder what would happen if I just kept playing this groove for a very long time?" So that's just what I did. I started playing and the more I played the same groove, the more I let my body relax. I deliberately decide to stay on the same groove over and over, and I did no fills, no variations, just the same thing over and over again. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Being in that space for what seemed to be about 10 minutes was bliss. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was no longer thinking, I was no longer trying to be anything. I wasn't trying to become a better drummer, I was just in the groove. And when I finally stopped, I thought I had been only playing for about ten or fifteen minutes, but as it turned out, over two whole hours had passed since I had started playing the rhythm. I wasn't tired or fatigued in any way, but instead I found that I was energized and I knew that night on my ride home, I would never be the same.