Novice drummers are notorious for being inconsistent. And when you’re in a band, having an inconsistent drummer leaves the band wandering like five blind mice in a hailstorm.
To cure this, the drum machine was born.
It was consistent and reliable, never missing a beat or varying tempo. You select time signature, speed, type of rhythm and off it goes – regular and dependable, pounding out the same pattern over and over and over.
And it is non-human – monotonous.
Those who play music and those who listened soon realize it’s too perfect, too predictable, too mechanical. To keep the drum machines useful, developers began to vary the tedious regularity of the perfect beat. They made the machine “flawed”.
Actually, they “humanize” the drum machines with imperfections.
While a consistent, reliable drummer holds the band together, a “perfect” drum machine dehumanizes music – makes it mechanical, repulsive.
People tell me they’d like their sweetheart to be consistent, predictable, reliable. They’d like to be able to know when and how he/she will romance them.
I might surprise them by asking, “So why don’t you get a computer to tell you sweetheart every Thursday at 7:23 p.m. to romance you in exactly the same perfect way he/she did last week?”
Truth is, you’d soon tire at the mechanicalness of it.
Real life isn’t predictable. It isn’t neat and clean. And neither is good romance.
Real romance is changeable and flawed. Neither you nor your sweetheart can perfectly romance every time. Sometimes trying something new results in a disaster.
But a bit of variety in romance is attractive. Being a bit unpredictable is attractive. Even when a Romantic Interlude fails, it’s attractive and doesn’t mean romance is failing.
Avoid the enticement of a drum machine romance. Try something new and different. Be willing to be imperfect. Be an irregular, human romantic.
Robert, a hopeless romantic
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