Okay, now here’s my kind of drummer: a guy who does his Ph.D. dissertation on how we become drummers and how much horsepower above the neck it gives us. When Gareth Dylan Smith submitted his dissertaion to the Institute of Education at the University of London, he really raised the bar and helped further legitimize the vaule of drum set study.

The final paragaph in his dissertation abstract (excerpted from his on-line version at www.garethdylansmith.com), sums it up nicely:

“Findings describe a rich variety of roles and identities in drummers’ relationships with musicians and non-musicians. Participants exhibit eclectic musical tastes, and tend as they grow older to feel a stronger sense of what is ‘their’ ethnic music. Drummers learn in multi-modal ways, usually with a keen awareness of exemplars of their art and craft. The world of kit drumming is highly masculine, which presents a range of opportunities and challenges to drummers of both sexes. Kit drummers’ identities, practices and learning are found to be intertwined as drummers each exist quasi-independently in a web of interdependence. Drummers drum; therefore they are, they do, and they learn – in a rich tapestry of contexts and ways.”

We’re not talking light reading here if you decide to get into the entire dissertation, but certainly, Gareth deserves a round of applause from fellow drummers for devoting so much time and intense energy towards his accomplishment. The days of drummer jokes find the sun setting a little sooner with efforts like Gareth’s, so if you have a few minutes, check out his website and blog, and drop him a line. We’ve all known what he wrote about to be true for years; it’s just nice to see it validated with three small letter’s after a guy’s name, and you better believe he earned every bit of that ink.

Yes he did.