Thursday, November 10, 2011

Should all jazz musicians learn how to play the drums?



I originally started this conversation on the All About Jazz forum, and was surprised at the consensus that all musicians would benefit from learning some drums.  Here is the original question that I posed:

"So most jazz musicians agree (myself included) that drummers should learn some piano in order to better understand what is going on around them, and have a more well-rounded approach to music generally. It is easy as a drummer to succumb to a kind of rhythmic tunnel-vision, and piano can help mitigate that by forcing drummers to focus on melody and harmony.

So here is my question, couldn't the same thing be true for other instruments? That is, shouldn't other instrumentalists learn some drums in order to better understand what is going on around them, and have a more well-rounded approach to music generally? I think that everybody intuitively agrees that rhythm is of particular importance in jazz music, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing".  So why do so few other instrumentalists learn how to play drums? "
What do you guys think?  Should other instrumentalists learn some drums?  If yes, what are the benefits?  If no, why not?   Post your answers below.