Thursday, April 21, 2016

Question Everything: In-between

After doing two concerts last Saturday then watching one of them on Sunday, I was thinking about writing a post on stage presence, but this topic came out of that one.

Most people and groups focus on the obvious things: better technical skills, more impressive movements, more energy output, even more unique or fun songs.  And that's totally fine!  But what sets people and groups apart sometimes even more than differences of any of those things is what they do in-between things.

Take a performance by any given group.  Ignore the songs.  What?  Yes, ignore them for now.  Look at what they do in between songs.  Look past what they want you to look at, even, as some groups will do a transition song or activity.  How are the other people moving the drums?  How much presence is there in how people move, how equipment is moved?

Take a song with multiple soloists.  After one person solos and another person begins, watch the first person.  What happens to their energy, their intention when they know the attention is off of them? What happens to their technique?  Is it consistent or does it wane?

Take even an individual solo that lends itself to larger movements/space between notes.  What are they doing between the hits?  Are they extended?  Tense?  Anticipating the next motion?  Do their hands jerk the body around or is the body controlling the hands?  Are they savoring the space between moves or seem to barely be keeping up?

What other in-betweens can you think of that could show a person's level of skill, or a group's focus?  Footwork?  Time?  Distance?  Kiai?  And what about your in-betweens; how do these questions all apply to you?

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