I realize that the response that many of my more traditional readers are going to have is, “Drummer? What drummer?” It’s true, unless you go to a contemporary church or at the bare minimum a church with a contemporary service, you’re about as likely to see a Bengal Tiger on stage as you are a drummer during worship. (How awesome would that be though? I bet he would play keys.)
But many people know exactly what I am talking about when I say, “fishbowling the drummer.” I am referring to the thin enclosure of plexi-glass most churches place around the drummer on stage.
I imagine this is for acoustic reasons, that being behind the transparent shield gives the drummer a better sense of how the drums sound. But that’s kind of boring, a little vanilla, sort of flat. I think there are three more interesting possibilities:
1. To prevent a funkless infection.
The drummer knows that people like me, the fairly funkless, are out in the crowd. So in a measure of protection, he asked that churches entomb him in plexi-glass. That way, when I am out in the crowd failing to keep rhythm with the song, “blessed be your name,” he’s able to not catch my funkless infection.
2. The choir robe theory
The guy that sells choir robes and hymnals has gone out of business. Less people are buying them, so he has had to diversify. Instead, he created a new market for “drummer bowls” and business is booming at churches across the country. (As I have mentioned, he also sells that little table and chair that Andy Stanley of North Point uses on stage.)
3. A blood feud with the triangle player.
Maybe, as I have referenced before, there is a blood feud between the drummer and the lady that plays the triangle. They are like Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac, east coast vs. west coast, Cali vs. New York. The drummer believes, “the triangle is a percussion instrument and should be mine to play.” The triangle player believes, “the drummer has enough to worry about, let me really explore the stage with the triangle.” To keep the peace, pastors had to build a separator between them.
Again, these are just theories but they might be true.
P.S. Happy father’s day.