The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

"The world needs an Ashley Banks."
Will Smith

"Bang the Drum, Ashley" is the second episode of Season 1 of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


The household hits a sour note when Will pawns Ashley's violin to get her a drum set.[1]


The Banks start their day off in the family room. Philip experiences headaches from work and Geoffrey offers him some aspirin. Meanwhile, Will is upstairs singing "I Got the Power" obnoxiously, much to Philip's annoyance. Ashley then appears and asks who's going to be her afterschool escort. After Hilary refuses to do so, Philip tasks Will with driving Ashley to and from her violin lesson on Wednesday afternoons. Though Will is reluctant to do it, he drops his cousin and her friends off to their lesson.

After sitting through hours of noisy violins, Will admits how nice it was hearing the music, but Ashley reveals that she's not actually interested in the violin, and that's she only doing it to please her father. Will convinces her that she needs to do something she enjoys, and not try to be like her father.
After another annoying day at work, Philip comes home to the loud obnoxious drumming coming from Ashley's room. Upon entering, he finds Will teaching Ashley to play drums and calls for Vivian. Will tells them they pawned Ashley's violin, which angers Philip. However, Vivian feels that Ashley should try something new if she wants.

Will's friend Jazz enters the room, who he claims is going to be Ashley's new mentor. After Philip and Vivian leave, Jazz begins a demonstration with the drums, with Will humorously dancing beside him.

Sometime later, the family is in the living room trying to enjoy their tea time, but not so much, as the drumming continues to go on. Philip calls Ashley down to enjoy tea with her family. Ashley comes downstairs, along with Will and Jazz and the family plays some classical music by Brandenburg Concertos. Philip tries to get Ashley to appreciate the soft, smooth rhythm of the music until Jazz ruins everything by playing with the records, prompting Philip to toss him out of the house for the first time.

Later that night, Philip and Vivian have a discussion with Will and Ashley. Ashley reveals to her father that she never enjoyed playing the violin, then reveals to Will that she doesn't like the drums either, but was just trying not to disappoint the two. Vivian then jumps in, telling Ashley doesn't need to worry about pleasing any of them and to just do what she enjoys best. Ashley then embraces her mother, then tells her she wants to quit ballet, which Vivian doesn't agree with. Seeing this, Will and Philip are disgusted by how she wants to quit everything, and how low her attention span is. The show ends with Will claiming he blames television.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


Philip: What the devil is he doing up there?
Vivian: "I Got The Power" by Snap. Snap is a great band.
Carlton: When Crackle and Pop cut a disc, then call me.
Ashley: Mommy, who's gonna take me to my tennis lesson after school today?
Vivian: Are you sure it tennis today, sweetie? Maybe you better check the schedule.
Will: Schedule?
Ashley: Yeah, my parents bought me this calendar so I can keep my lessons straight. Did you have an after school schedule when you were my age?
Will: Yeah, the TV Guide.
Will: Word up. Kick over the keys to the Jag. The Benzito?
Philip: The station wagon.
Will: Aw, come on Uncle Phil, you gonna ruin my rep.
Philip: You're only 17. You don't have a rep yet.
Will: Hey, Ash, that was decent to listen to that kind of music without having to see Freddy Krueger kill somebody.
Ashley: I'm glad somebody enjoys it.
Will: What, don't you?
Ashley: Not yet, but when I'm older, it will be very useful to me. No, wait. That's tennis.
Will: Who told you that?
Ashley: My dad.
Will: Just because your dad likes something, doesn't mean you have to like it. He likes being a lawyer. You don't have to be a lawyer.
Ashley: I am going to be a lawyer.
Will: Ash, the world does not need another Philip Banks. We might not have enough farmland to support the one we have. No, the world needs an Ashley Banks.
Philip: Will, I want the best for Ashley. When I was young I loved classical music, but my parents could never afford lessons. I would stand in parking lot outside the Phil Harmonic, hoping to catch a spare note in the night air.
Vivian: Philip, when I met you, you were into James Brown.
Will: [laughing] He liked James Brown?
Vivian: He even wore his hair like him.
Will: [laughing harder] He had hair?
Vivian: It was the only time that Jazz could give her a lesson today.
Philip: I wish you would stop calling him that.
Vivian: But that's his name.
Philip: It is not. It can't be.
Vivian: These kids like to make up their own names. Let them.
Philip Banks: Okay, fine. From now on, I'm no longer Philip Banks. Just call me King Edward IV.
Geoffrey: As you wish, Your Majesty. Humor, sir.
Carlton: Dad, I'm as liberal as the next guy, but it's time for someone to take the reins. High tea has been a weekly tradition in our family for as long as I can remember. If we let young Will ruin this for us, what's next to go? Christmas?
Philip: I can't answer that question for you, son. Ask your mother.
Vivian: Come on, you two. High tea is not a sacred institution.
Philip: It's not the tea. It's not the drums. It's Ashley. I've spent nine years trying to raise a proper young lady and Will is undoing all of my work in a week.
Hilary: [to Vivian] He's punishing her.
Philip: No, Hilary. I just want her to spend some time with her family.
Hilary: Same thing.
Will: You're trying to control her too much. She's nine years old and she already has a calendar telling her where she's got to be, what she's gotta do.
Philip: She doesn't have to worry about that anymore because now you tell her what to do, right? There's only one thing wrong with that: You're not her father.
Will: All right. But how come you didn't even know she doesn't like the violin?
Philip: She liked it for a whole year until you moved into this house. Can you explain that?
Ashley: I never liked it, Daddy.
Vivian: That explains it.


  • Will sings "The Power" by SNAP! and, accompanied by Jazz on drums, "Pump Up The Jam" by Technotronic.
  • This is the first appearance of Jazz and the first time he gets thrown out of the house.
    • It also marks the first time he tries to make a move on Hilary.
  • The scene where Jazz is thrown out of the house in this episode is the same exact clip used in every Fresh Prince episode he gets thrown out the front door.
  • This is one of a few episodes to portray Uncle Phil without a beard.
  • The episode name is a pun on the 1956 baseball novel (and later film) Bang the Drum Slowly.
  • Will's and Philip's lines, "Come on Uncle Phil, you gonna ruin my rep!" and "You're only 17, you don't have a rep yet." come from Will Smith's song "Parents Just Don't Understand."


  • In this episode, Will is said to be 17 and Ashley is said to be 9. However, later on in the Season 1 episode "Just Infatuation," she turns 12, although Will still remains 17. In Season 2, Ashley turns 13, yet Will is still said to be 17.
  • When Geoffrey gives Philip some water, the amount of water changes between shots. When Uncle Phil drinks water for his second aspirin, he drank about 1/4 of the water. In the next shot, the glass is nearly empty. After this second shot, the water is 3/4 full like before.
  • Philip asks Geoffrey to put on "the Brandenburg Concerto." Since there are six of them, he would have ask which number he wants. The one they play is Brandenburg Concerto #2.
  • Due to Will being only 17, he would not be able to legally pawn Ashley's violin.



  1. DVD description