As a percussionist, playing with a drummer in a band can be a fun, challenging, and musically rewarding experience. This, of course, is dependent on the notion that both sides correctly understand not only their own roles in the music, but the other’s as well. The following five “rules” will help any percussionist to better understand how to listen, groove, and augment the music that they are playing.
Becoming a better musician, when dealing with improvisation, isn’t just about what notes you play. It’s how you play those notes. The hemiola and other polyrhythmic concepts help musicians explore a vast new frontier of musical phrasing where rhythm and melody are intertwined, producing exciting musical motifs.
Congas, djembes, timpani, bells, shakers, timbales, tabla…on and on – how many percussion instruments do you own? While collecting is a price every percussionist has to pay, it’s important to do a check-up every once in awhile and think about what sounds can be generated from what you DO have. Sometimes the smallest and potentially “easiest” instruments to master in your arsenal have the most diversity and can be an invaluable resource.