As drummers we’ve long battled identity issues that never seem to go away, no matter how far we advance our art. For years the famed drummer Bill Bruford has pointed out a certain “pitched-instrument bias” on the part of the public, other instrumentalists, and even ourselves. Among the topics in his latest book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, Bruford explores the phenomenon of drummers being disrespected “despite the fact,” as he recently told me, “we all know a band is only as good as its drummer, etc.

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