Russell "Buddy" Helm The Way of the Drum

ISBN 13: 9780738701592

The Way of the Drum

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9780738701592: The Way of the Drum

Listen closely, for the rhythm of life is all around you. The beating of your heart . . . the sound of your footsteps . . . the patter of soft rain on the roof . . . the ticking of a clock―from our own bodies to modern technology, life expresses itself in a musical chorus of sound and rhythm.

Drumming is one of the most ancient forms of music. The primal beat of the drum expresses the basic human desire to connect with each other and to express creative energy and emotion.

Anyone can pick up a drum and start banging away. But to truly connect with the drum and enter the "groove," the place where you feel the rhythm of life, requires you to give up ego-based fears of judgment and failure.

In his first book, Drumming the Spirit to Life, musician and author Buddy Helm showed you how to quiet your "inner critic" and follow the beat. In The Way of the Drum he returns with more insights on how the act of drumming can become an act of meditation, communication, healing, and celebration.

Part drumming workshop, part musical memoir, Buddy Helm shares the memories and lessons of a musical life. From playing with Chuck Berry to invoking the Drum God, this is the lyrical account of how one man discovered the way of the drum.
In the following excerpt, author Buddy Helm describes the wisdom of "the groove."

Grooves just are. They exist of and by themselves. We just tap into them when we hit a drum in a steady, relaxed motion.

Like an old footpath through the mountains, grooves have been followed for countless generations; like a deerpath that Indian hunters might have found, which becomes a trail that becomes a road then becomes a highway; so grooves are highways of the soul.

It is ridiculous to try to put this into words, because the drum says things that words cannot. The drummer is the voice of a language without words and without intellectual restraints―if it's done in the right spirit.

The wisdom that is obtained by following a groove is so subtle that there is no way to articulate it with words, except perhaps in poetry and song. The mystery is so immense that there would be no way to explain it with just words. That is what drumming ritual has always done. It defines the un-nameable.

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About the Author:

Drumming for as long as he can remember, Russell Buddy Helm (southern California) has played live and in recording sessions with a variety of rock bands, including Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry, Tim Buckley, and the Allman Brothers. He has taught everything from Afro-Cuban to jazz, R&B, rock ‘n roll, and reggae. His current drumming workshops make the healing qualities of the drum accessible to all people, regardless of their musical backgrounds.

When he was eight, he started his classical musical training under a well-known woman drum teacher in Elkhart, Indiana named Eilleen Trafford. He excelled at percussion in both symphonic work and drum and bugle corps, earning fifteen medals of excellence. As a teenager he developed his musical styles in rhythm and blues, rock, country, folk and spiritual drumming like Afro Cuban and Gospel. While living in Coconut Grove in Miami, he was exposed to the   Caribbean culture where his understanding of spiritual drumming progressed.

He moved to Los Angeles to continue his musical career and artistic training and to teach drumming. There he played with Frank Zappa and then played and toured with Tim Buckley for several years, recording an album in 1973,  (Honeyman, released in 1997).

From Booklist:

Drumming has been gaining popularity for more than a decade, with drum circles and classes springing up across America. A popular drumming teacher and former rock and roller, Helm writes conversationally of his life in music and spirit, offering personal insights into the ways in which drumming can open up creative space in any life. Following up his earlier, more basic book, Drumming the Spirit to Life (2000), Helm expands on the idea that anyone can drum as long as one's inner critic is silenced. For the nervous, he provides simple, easy-to-follow notations of basic rhythms, as well as commentary on how those rhythms are typically used. What will probably engage readers most, however, is Helm's account of his journey from professional musician to teacher of amateurs and the spiritual lessons he learned along the way. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Russell "Buddy" Helm
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