Monday, February 6, 2017

Anything but obvious.

image credit:

A few practices ago we were jamming in the studio.  I wound up on the hiradaiko/odaiko and handed a bat.  For those who aren't familiar with this or haven't seen it, a baseball-style bat is not uncommon to use on the larger drums.

Ooh, big bat, BIG drum.  Would be so easy to just pound a nice loud note out, even if I didn't play that many!

But, by doing what's easiest, what's expected, what I've seen hundreds of times before, what am I missing out on?  It's what I'm supposed to do, that all there is?

So after I got through a bunch of twirling-the-bat, I went to soft hits.  After soft hits, I played multiple notes even softer.  After that I lightly pressed it against the head to make a buzz.  Then a slap followed by a buzz.  I wish I had tried the handle to make noise, to see how it sounded.

How could this apply to other situations?  Say you're in a song with a lot of notes and the other soloists are playing a lot of notes and now it's your turn...  Sure, you could play a lot of notes.  That's expected.  But if you don't, that'll stand out, for sure.  And you can always play more notes later, but better it's by choice and not because that's all you're thinking about doing.

Is everyone starting their solo at the drum?  Maybe start by moving away from it.  Are all the solos funny?  Maybe yours is intense.  Are all the solos very busy, movement-wise?  Maybe you stay still and deliver.

It's really hard to think of options "in the moment", so watch other people and ask yourself, what else could they do or be doing?  Will you do it?  Could you try?  It's not to do something different because you're trying to be different - that can get tedious.  It's about knowing there are options and knowing when to exercise them!

No comments:

Post a Comment