Battle of the Beat-Makers
Sam Miller, a freshman at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, expressed his feelings about the relevance of jazz drumming today and said he feels that a musician's job is to connect to a vast audience. "A drum is the loudest instrument played during jam sessions and has a large command over the other instruments," said Miller, who's been working as a jazz musician in Los Angeles for 14 years. "Having control over the drums allows me to add energy and control the tempo of the other musicians surrounding me." The sound of a live drum allows the rest of the musicians performing to build a stronger connection to the rhythm and build of the piece. Musicians can't have that kind of connection with a machine. Miller went on to say, "I'd like to be able to perform pieces that not only appeal to younger people like my sister, but also older ones like my grandparents." Live musicians have the ability to create a common ground among listeners of all ages. Synthesized rhythm tracks hinder a person's ability to enjoy the music—especially if they're used to a traditional song structure.