Saturday, February 2, 2008

It's always fun until someone ends up in tears

The other night Sidy warned us that when we are faced with a difficult piece, we may cry because it is so hard. I laughed, knowing it is true.

At my lesson this week, I cried.

Sidy had his dun duns with him for another lesson, so I asked if he would teach me the dun dun part for Sounou. I figure it would be good to know.

Dun duns are the big bass drums of Mali. They are large wooden cylinders with cowskin heads. He plays his with regular drumsticks, but he holds them backwards, with the tapered end in the palm of his hand.

Well, let me tell you. Dun duns are freaking hard. For Sounou you basically have to play two different rhythms, one on each drum, at the same time. I just couldn't get it. I tried. I tried. I tried. I could more or less play each rhythm independently, but when I tried to put them together, my brain froze and I was like a deer in the headlights.

Then, in a moment of compassion (or exasperation), Sidy had me play an easier piece.... where the hands work together. It WAS easier, but in the middle of it, I just lost it and couldn't find the rhythm again. No matter how hard I tried, it was gone.

Which is when I started crying.

Sidy said he was glad I cried about drumming. It shows that I recognize how hard it is.

I say I'll cry every day if it will make me a better player.


AndrejL said...

Hi Rachel! Playing two different rhythms with two hands at the same time is quite impossible for a beginner. It requires very much practice. I suggest you try to play many different patterns for dundun at home... You can find them all over the internet.

Anyway, don't cry too much, I'm sure you are doing great!

Rachel said...

Hi Andre,

Thanks for the encouragement! I was away so I couldn't respond... but I was happy to find your comment. I haven't cried about drumming in a few weeks now, LOL!

I get to go to my class on Monday I am really excited to be back!