October 2014
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Inter Alien Wars

The Inter Alien Wars were like a bad divorce with the parents arguing over the child. Earth was the child. The wars began when humans finally accepted the fact that they were being exploited and had enough. They purged what they could, based more on political expediency rather than blood purity. A lot of aliens had cut pretty good deals with the earthlings concerning resources, but the one bug was the genetic material. That had to stop. No more shipping human cells off to another planet to make slave races for the gods. Humans became a registered trademark in the galactic confederation.

Groove Food for the Soul 10.24.14

Drumming and food go together; Inspiration and appreciation. Angels dance and sing and eat the offerings. Good luck for all.

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Rhythmic Vaccine

The virus we are getting are mental. Fight them with the groove. Survive with healthy mental habits initiated by meditation drumming. Overriding the critical mind when it is running an inappropriate app that impinges on personal performance using gentle healing rhythms that forgive and release tension and fear. Fear can be shown to be non real, just by slowing down the tempo of your groove. The critical mind is constantly being fooled by rhythmic repetition creating fear, but our sense of rhythm is wise beyond time.

The Source on Sunset Strip

The Source on Sunset Strip was a health food restaurant back in the seventies, run by a big white bearded guy named Father Yod, who had a commune full of white robed kids, mostly runaways, in a big mansion up in the Hollywood Hills. He reminded me of Odin. Talking a good spiritual rap for the kids and the tourists. He had a meditation chamber built off to the side of his restaurant in the gravel parking lot. Inside this meditation room would sit maybe a dozen of his acolytes, rapt, hanging on every word from the old coot. He had a rep as being a short fuse; had done time for killing his wife and her lover. A real hustler dressed in white robes. I liked his gong. It was the first really big gong I had experienced and I saw its effect on the unsuspecting initiates into The Father’s cult. He hammered that thing and the room vibrated. That’s when I realized how easy it was to convince people to follow some crackbrained maniac using vibration. He eventually moved his scene to Hawaii where he crashed in a hang glider. He asked his followers to take him to the hospital because it seemed he had a broken back. They all agreed that this was just one more test from their teacher father figure. They showed that they believed in his divine nature and that he could easily heal himself. He died.


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drumming through challenges

Momentum from a steady groove with a solid downbeat can get us through hard times like a sailing ship through rough waters. Keep dancing. It’ll be alright.

How do I move from simply memorizing a rhythm to being able to feel the music?


Hi Buddy

I appreciate your understanding of music and have a question for you. How do I move from simply memorizing a rhythm to being able to feel the music? I seem to be able to learn patterns, but not sure if I’m feeling it.
Thanks, R….


A lot of it comes from the music that you hear. Study the greats who are playing the patterns that you are learning. Often the pattern may not be technically correct but it has feel. Rhythm n Blues will get you to feel it. Feel the grooves in say a BB King track like “The Thrill is Gone” which is incredibly slow- the hardest groove for a drummer to maintain with feel. Or Marvin Gaye; “Make me wanna Hollar”. Study the delay of time with drums and bass. Very subtle. All great music has that ability to stretch time, and relax the groove, Even at fast tempos. Feel starts when your mind stops thinking. Playing from your body wisdom. It often comes to players in the form of dangerous luck. Don’t buy into that. Feel comes from the heart. When you are experiencing a sense of oneness with your audience, then you are hitting the note and playing with feel. Tricks to remember are: always be ready to lay back the groove; even just a tiny microsecond slower will free up the feel. That is more important than anything else in our overstimulated intellectual minds. Lay it back in the pocket, then remember to keep it there by continually releasing. That means that you are not playing like a metronome- you are human and there are subtle variations in the flow of the pattern. That is good. Don’t be fooled by the critical mind trying to be perfect, allow yourself to step off of the metronome and lay back in the pocket. Be intentionally LATE to the downbeat; that is the art of any great groove player. Do not be in a hurry. You are where you want to be; in the pocket. Back behind the click track. Late to the metronome. That is the mysterious place that dance is born. We have to intellectually learn how to find that; by letting go of our tenacious intellect and play from our bodies, our heart. But the final recommendation is to watch women dance. If they are not dancing to your beat; it is not their fault. You must find their groove. Watch their hips. If they are not moving then slow the tempo just a bit. The release will hopefully get them started but you must keep it there. Speeding up will lose them, Steady and relaxed. Sense of humor is important. Laugh at yourself. Fluid and humble and the women will dance. The only good reason to play the drums; To Get The Women To Dance. A woman drum student made the best suggestion: Try dancing yourself, like no body is watching!
Good luck, Share the Groove.

new hope drumming

Tony Curtis was riding in the elevator with me

Tony Curtis was riding in the elevator with me going up to the front office at Lorimar in Culver City. He was one of the stars on one of our hit soap operas on network television back in the eighties, He looked good. Hair was dyed really nicely, piled up in his signature fifties  style DA, classy black leather evening coat, and exquisitely hand sewn black calf  skin gloves to hide the age in his hands. He smiled at me and his body guard stood behind him, at ease. It was a calm moment as we climbed the stories silently. But then I remembered a story I had heard probably in Clearwater high school; one of the small town urban legends about Hollywood assholes. The rumor was that Tony Curtis, a huge silver screen star back then was a huge practical joker, and would enjoy going into a crowded elevator,… then he would fart, and then get off the elevator. I suddenly remembered this high school gossip and tensed up waiting for the fart. It was as if all my life experiences had prepared me for this moment. Fate had done a dance with my destiny all for the purpose of putting me in this elevator with this famous farter. Tony sensed a change in my attitude and so did his bodyguard. Tony looked up at me with a quizzical stare. I was frozen. I couldn’t say a word. I wanted to ask him if the rumor was true, but it would have been my job. He didn’t fart. We both got out on the same floor and went into different offices. Either we live our lives waiting for the famous people to fart, or we get on with own business. “History of the Groove, book 4″ Russell Buddy Helm copyright 2014 buddyhelm.com