"A Manifesto of the Percussive Artist" by John Lane


Platinum Member
Nice piece, I agree completely.

In our field, the orchestral musician is the highest example of a craftsperson, someone who preserves a known repertoire, who continually refines his/her technique in order to replicate something already learned. A craftsperson clearly pictures the end product at the beginning of a task and has respect for tradition and performance practice.

The artist, by contrast, does not know the result of his/her work prior to creation. Like the craftsperson, the artist must acquire a great amount of skill. Artists must have an original virtuosity and cultivate their voice through the choices they make.


Technique Practice as Mind Training – Progress is Doing:
Eugene Herrigel, the author of Zen in the Art of Archery, was surprised to learn that Japanese Zen students practicing archery were not at all concerned with hitting the target. We should use our musical practice in the same way: not simply to achieve goals, but to train our minds.


Today’s climate of commercialism and consumerism has produced the idea that pop culture status and fame are effective measurements of success, and that the most desirable use of musical talent is for commercial employment. Some teachers promote this notion and the marketplace rewards it.


"Uncle Larry"
It's nice to read something from someone who is thinking about how things actually are, and exposing the crap for what it really is. His words ring true. Thanks for sharing vxla.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
We should learn to develop “organic” technique, in which we pay attention to anatomy and physics to arrive at the most relaxed and natural grip and stroke, degrees of “looseness,” in which we let the instrument teach us how to move.

So the next time someone mentions your little finger is off of the stick, which a lot of us do because ergonomically it is comfortable, tell them to shove it.

I saw a photo of Vic Firth playing tympanic with a Boston Orchestra and the little finger was flying. So What.


Silver Member
Gruntersdad, my son studied with a professional tympanist in high school. He also flairs his pinkies and his snare playing was just "terrible" according to him. Yeah terrible enough to make you never want to pick up a pair of sticks again. Rolls so smooth it's ridiculous.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If one relaxes when doing rolls or fast singles, the pinkies tend to flair out. Why fight it? I'm sure there are as many reasons not to do it as forced on young drummers then passed on as a terrible technique, but if it happens to so many people, and they control their sticks, then what's the problem.?