Category Archives: Rhythmic Insanity

Wo, didn’t realize I was kinda a drill-sergeant

wo… weird…
thought I just had:

when it comes to MY teaching, I just thought almost instantly of many examples where, when “I” teach, the following notion is true:

“It’s not my job to make you feel good.
It Is my job to make you do what you DO good (being play music in my case.)”

(you can argue that there is nothing too wrong about making students feel good, indeed.)   just saying.

some music theory of the rhythmic variety

somehow tonight while playing music with some friends I managed to find myself playing

7 notes to the dotted quarter note, in 5/4.
meaning, when the guy playing in 5/4 (it was actually 5/16 (4 bars) against quarter notes (five of them of course)
meaning I played 14 notes every three quarter notes, so

YEAH, when the guy playing in 5/4 had played 3 bars, 15 quarter notes, 60 16th notes…
I had played 70 notes in the same space.

SIX AGAINST SEVEN, i.e, 3 against 3 and a half

fuck yeah

energy usage-

as far as my “not liking being part of things that are average or normal or otherwise less-than-interesting”

it’s not true when my senses DO deem them stimulating, interesting, etc.

like that vid there. funfun. notes. endorphins.



so if my life WASN’T about coping with feeling unhappy

so if my life WASN’T about coping with feeling unhappy, because I WASN’T unhappy…

would I do something different?

wonder what…



I got ideas, yo

my bio, new

be professional, be professional, blah blah blah

Mike Robbins is a Percussionist and all-around Musical Weirdo residing in Los Angeles, who spends his time playing and teaching African Music, rather crazed and rhythmically Complex yet Groovy Percussive Music, and has a very-likely-unhealthy obsession with the music of Steve Reich, which he also Conducts and Plays on occasion.  He also teaches a little Music Theory of the Harmonically-Colourful Variety, and plays a little Harmonium to accompany North Indian Music.  He also arranged some Marching Band and Drumline music, and composes his own stimulating musics as well.

sometimes I compare myself to others

sometimes someone else does something, I compare myself unfavorably to them, and, typically have felt incredible guilt and shame (moving past that now.)

I still have thoughts though such as
“wow, I must be not a very ambitious person, then.”

or why else would I have

1. not done what they did (I didn’t want it?)
2. not done something comparably that I DO want…

though I HAVE, done things I want… they just….

never lay well with conventional notions of success or professionalism, (other people’s often seem to, other people except for my coolest craziest friends.)

the things I have done…
I wouldn’t call them successful or professional (many would argue that they are)
I guess I WOULD call them

special, unruly, unique, something most other people would NEVER do the way “I” went about them, things no one else WOULD ever do, and maybe genius, who knows.

but definitely not conventionally successful or professional.

what do you think friends,

you think I’m ever successful, professional?

this has been a presentation of the new and improved but still a ways to go

“less self-critical and less guilty and less shameful me” in response to other people I know doing things that seem real professional and successful, while I feel like I am sitting around having fun, getting older.

p.s. perhaps “fun” is all I really ever cared about.
as long as I can support myself as well, (not necessarily via the same “fun” things,)
might not be a bad thing in any sense.

it might even be the most important, more important than success or professionalism.

p.p.s you know, I have long despised the term professionalism, as if people who “are” it are fake and are stiffs? ok, enough, what do you think?

me or others,

so, a little discussion of what I call
The Zeitgeist Question, which refers, to me, to the notion of am I doing something with myself in mind, or others…

did I miss the day in school where-
where they taught you that when you work for people, yoi ddo what they ask, and not what you want?
or is that not true…
I mean, I have drumset students, kids.
they don’t know what they want or how to get it.
one of them is capable of butchering his way through a song, but if he ever wants to execute it WELL, in tempo, etc, he’s NOT gonna do what HE wants and just play play play, regardless of HOW to play well, so of course, he then needs to do what I say, the way I say it, (bearing in mind which approach I propose works best for him of course, blah blah.)

or am I just incredibly selfish, and never want to work for others, because what they want isn’t interesting to ME?

and why am I different than people who “do it anyway.”

perhaps I am just a selfish twit, only child after all, am I.
perhaps I’m impatient.
perhaps I have things I like.
perhaps a lot of average things just don’t “do it” for me.
perhaps I’m Super impatient.

or perHAPS-

you instead of me are TOO patient,
perhaps you DON’T have things you like, feel strongly about, love, can’t wait for.
perhaps a lot of average things DO “do it” for you.
perhaps you are super patient.

not that I have many “ideas for businesses”, but all the ones I do are usually not about every day things that happen to every day people, things that theoretically would be widespread, but


highly specific things that are interesting to me, not every day things, but highly specific ones relating to me and my weird experience. things that aren’t widespread.

oh WHAT is the matter with me…
or what is the matter with everyone else.
why are we different at all.
and why must I suffer, on the lonely end of the stick so.
awesome as it is, here.

where do others GET the patience to provide a service which they have no interest in? (naturally, if they are poor, or are forced to because of capitalism, yeah that  would make sense… but plenty of people I know are NOT like that, and STILL do things that I find muy boring.)

… seems always like things would be (seems…) so much easier if I just conformed, hid my feelings, bit the bullet and just conformed.  but no.

it wouldn’t be easier, and I must struggle on, as the real me.

Castlevania III Dracula Stage in 11/8 and 11/16

in response to a youtube thread about this song, I just posted all this:

it could be notated in 11/8 instead of 11/4, and I personally, based on the “drum” part hear it as two bars of 11/16 (per each bar of 11/8 (or 11/4, meaning the drum part would be two bars of 11/8) I personally hear even that as 6/16 then 5/16 alternating, and I feel the 6/16s as 3/8. like one(and)two(andTHREE(and)onetwothreeFOURfive capitalizing the snare hits. someone said they have seen the score and it says 6+6/8 (meaning two bars of 6/8 combined together, I presume.) that is probably a simplified version because someone thought a tune in 11 would be too hard for most people who would want to play it. I have often seen popular music charts from musicals or rock songs, that are “simplified” in various ways. but yeah. TOTALLY in 11, totally. real phat. it’s actually fascinating, cause, thinking of it as 3/8 + 5/16 + 3/8 + 5/16, per every ONE bar of 11/8, the bass is playing steady 8th notes, (11 of them of course) the bass part and the drum part are totally syncopated from each other, and there’s not saying which one is “right”, that’s the beauty of it, they both are. and thirdly, the melody contained numerous dotten 8th notes (three 16ths long of course), so it too is syncopated. three different patterns, all adding up to 11 in the end though, all superimposed. this kinda stuff is super super cool. like a melodic version of this percussive music (which is in 15/16 + 12/16 + 15/16

7 against 8, or, at least, 7 against 2

-just listened to this, a recording of my playing harmonium accompanying my friend on Tabla.

one part of this, he is in “Seven-Speed” (eh, 7 notes to the beat,) while I, while not playing 8 notes to the beat, am playing sometimes 2, (which gives it the feel as if it had 8.)

mannnnn 8 against seven feels WACK, as if one of us is a fraction rhytmically OFF, the whole time, but we’re NOT! there’s such a strong tendency to “adjust” (that is, for me to play as if I too am in 7 speed (which technically speeking, in place of quarter note followed by two eighth notes, you would, in 7 speed, likely play dotted 8th followed by two 8ths, (ONE two three FOUR five SIX seven…)

but no, our teacher Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri did say, “keep it straight.”    mannnn that was trippy!

you try it some time, play something in quarters and 8th notes, while another plays 16th note-septuplets, ooh yeah.

at 18:37 in this, or here’s an audio of it as well