How I fell in love with the drums

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TED Blog

By Clayton Cameron

As a 5-year-old kid, I barely knew what the word rhythm meant. At least no one told me what banging on inanimate objects and creating my own little beats might be called. It was like rhythm chose me and I really had no say in the matter. My favorite elementary school pastime was tabletop drum battles with my friends. I’d play on the table using every part of my hand to get a sound: the base of my palm for low sounds, the middle of my hand for a higher-pitched sounds and then my fingers for fast rolls and pop sounds.

At home, inanimate objects seemed to come alive with the rhythmic time. Oatmeal boxes were my favorite. My parents always thought I just loved oatmeal for breakfast—but I knew that the sooner I emptied the box, the sooner I’d have a cardboard drum.

In regards to a real instrument, I…

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