Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A good teacher

Here's the thing about playing with a great djembe player. It forces you to play better than you would otherwise. I have noticed, lately, that while practicing I am not able to hold the rhythm as well as when I play in class or with my teacher. Something happens when playing with others that sort of forces me to hold up my end of the djembe conversation.

I think part of it is that my teacher uses my rhythm to create a structure for his solos. He plays in and out and around my accompaniment. He is good enough that he could do this even if I completely bomb. But when I don't bomb, it is incredibly thrilling to play together in that way.

It has helped to record myself playing. Then I can hear just how wobbly I sound and work to correct it. But that still doesn't substitute for playing with a good teacher.

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