“Watch me, Drummers! Look up!”
I can still hear Mr. Spayd, our band director, drilling the percussionists in our band, while the rest of us waited. At the time, I didn’t realize how important drummers were. I just found them exasperating. After all, how hard could it be to feel the beat and tap the drumhead with a stick? (At times, I think Mr. Spayd was tempted to take the stick and “tap” a few “heads” himself.) 😊
I later realized that the entire tempo of a piece in marching band is set by the drummers. Drummers give the instrumentalists our cues and provide the steady beat that keeps us all together. If the drum section gets lost, rushes, lags, or otherwise flubs up, the entire band follows suit.
From Mr. Spayd’s little aside lessons to the drummers, I learned a few drum terms—tap, rolls produce a sustained, continuous sound, paradiddle. I loved that word! To me, it sounded a lot like what it meant—two single strokes followed by a double stroke, i.e., Right-Left-Right.-Right—paradiddle! Many of our songs in marching band were introduced by “Tap, Tap, Tap. Tap, Tap, Tap. Paradiddle, Paradiddle. Tap, Tap, Tap”.
Along with all the other rudimentary drum skills, paradiddles help build muscle memory. Paradiddles enable drummers to emphasize or articulate different words and syllables and accents.
In developing as a Christian, just as in becoming a better percussionist, there are some fundamentals for me to learn that set the “rhythm” for my walk with Jesus. There is the basic Tap, Tap, Tap, of praying consistently. There is the continuous Roll of new insights He will unveil as I study His Word. And there are the blessed Paradiddles of faith-sharing, when God, through fellowship and witnessing, emphasizes the importance and blessings of walking with Him.
Above all is following our Director—keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is the One who knows the pace He wants us to take and who can help us get back on track when we get lost.
Are you practicing your Christian rudimentary skills?
“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—
practice these things,
and the God of peace will be with you.”
©2017 Pamela D. Williams