For my recent 50th birthday my wife gave me (at my request) an electronic drum kit. My daughters rolled their eyes. “Mid-life crisis” they said loudly, without having to say anything at all. (There was general acknowledgement that alternative mid-life crisis choices could have been far worse.)
Anyway, to come to the point. As I work my way through a couple of drumming books and numerous YouTube clips, there’s one message that comes through time and time again. It’s that good drumming isn’t about lots of fancy stuff. It’s about keeping a good steady beat most of the time and stepping it up with a flourish once in a while. The art is less about complexity and more about timing – knowing precisely when to break out for maximum impact.
All of this came to mind when I was chatting to editor Heather Kelly the other day. Heather has years of editing experience and has always been an advocate for very sparse use of exclamation marks (or ‘exclamation points’ as they are called in the US). It is a very lucky exclamation mark indeed that survives Heather’s red pen.