This was my response to someone asking a question about what makes a person a "real" drummer:
A drummer *is* someone who drums. The only separation if you can even call it that is the time, effort, intention and attention invested into your art. The art begins the first time you strike a drum. It may be crude at first, but it is completely valid and real. Sheer determination trumps natural gifts any day in my opinion. The best drummers IMHO are the ones who listen and serve the situation at hand. These are the folks who actually contribute energetically to the betterment of all concerned. Drumming works just like life, just like relationships. Bad drummers serve themselves first without regard to the whole picture. Watching masters play is a great way to get better. Listen first to what they're playing but also focus on how they blend, lift, propel, and affect everyone else around them. The greatest players are those who lift everyone up with them.
- Jim Donovan