Then And Now~ Let’s Get It Together! When I first started drumming in the 70’s (for those of us not born into or of the drum culture), there was one general drummers informational grid or network, that is to say one large drumming platform or base of information that was available to the general public. It was very limited. It is so hard to conceive as today we have such an overwhelming wealth of information available on the computer and at our finger tips. But back in the day it was very hard to find information and to study about drumming. There were no books available or videos. You needed a qualified teacher or class to play in. You had to know someone who knew someone and you needed to …
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I am now offering West African, Afro Cuban, and Fusion/Hybrid hand drumming classes of all types on line via Skype. I encourage any one who wants to learn more about drumming and how to play drums to contact me. All levels are welcome. If you have always wanted to drum or simply want to enhance your skills or learn more authentic rhythms, how to solo r to find your inner rhythm this is a perfect way.
A conga student asked me recently, “how do I take a solo when I am
playing with a band and the band stops, and I am left by myself? No
one else is playing, it is just me”? This is a great question and here is how I do it.
Does age matter when playing or performing drumming and percussion music? Yes and no.Many of us who have been playing for a while would obviously like to keep playing for a while. I myself am over 50 years old. I am constantly playing with players half my age and sometimes more. Of course there are always going to be some age or physical limitations, but there does not have to be any cramp in your style and with the proper maintanance and care of our bodies there should be no reason why we can not play well into our 90’s! They do in Africa!
People often ask me about a training program. What could they do to improve their drumming and or improve more rapidly? I put together the following suggestions based on my own training program that I have followed for many years. Those of you who know me personaly know I am a bit of a fanatic so of course you can tone down the program to suit your own personal needs. So just take a few ideas from here or all of them. “Arai gor dai” as they say in Thailand (“up to you”)! So pick and choose and enjoy your practice and training ritual. remember it’s “playing” and playing is FUN!
Many people have written to me saying, “OK, I agree I need to practice, but where can I practice”? Maybe it is too cold to go out to the park, or you just don’t feel like dragging your drum around? Or maybe someone has complained about “noise”? I do not know how many times I have had noise complaints from my neighbors about “strange sounds both night and day”! The drums can definitely bring out the worst in neighbors at times. I have had people come to my house completely enraged. Yet strangely enough the same people do not complain about lawnmowers or carpentry early in the morning (my pet peeves)! What is it about the drums that get’s people so riled up? Is it fear of the ancient …