Is Mayonnaise an Instrument?

Is Mayonnaise an Instrument?

No, Patrick. Mayonnaise is not an instrument.

The fellow playing the SpongeBob toy drum set is not a nobody. His name is Benny Greb. He’s one of the most well-regarded drummers in the world, among people who regard drummers. I don’t know anyone who regards drummers, but apparently they’re out there. Benny was something of a child prodigy on the drums, and he’s got a drum company sponsoring him, so he obviously knows what he’s doing.

He’s illustrating an important point. Good tools can make a good artisan better. They can’t make a bad artisan good. Bad tools can frustrate a good artisan, but they can’t make him bad. The entire music store industry is based on convincing the public that if you buy expensive musical instruments, you’ll play better. One more guitar will make you Hendrix. It ain’t so, but that’s the business model.

The SpongeBob drum kit is a drum kit. It isn’t a toy as much as it’s a miniature, simplified version of a real thing. This guy could play it, and so could your kid, if he learned how to play instead of only learning how to shop for drums. Hell, in some ways, the SpongeBob kit is superior to very expensive, full sized drum kits. The most important, and most ignored, characteristic of a good drum kit is portability. If it’s hard to take apart, move around, and set up, you’ll avoid ever leaving the house. And by house, I mean mom’s basement, of course.

Little drum kits sound better than Rush-sized kits, if you ask me. Volume is just spackle for cracked musical walls. Drums get miked up when you play in big halls, so it doesn’t matter how big they are as long as they sound good. Little drum kits sound fine, if you can play them. Observe:

So remember, the old saying is, “A bad workman argues with his tools.” That’s not really true, but it illustrates my point pretty well. A more accurate version of the saying is, “A bad workman argues with the man who calls him that.” It really doesn’t matter if your tools are SpongeBob drums, one way or the other.

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