Why we’re percussionists…

Last night I played nothing but bodhran (Irish frame drum) for two and a half hours at a rehearsal. Before that, I’d only played the bodhran a handful of times. I learned some basic techniques to play it on a couple of church gigs, and then put the drum aside.

This time I was rehearsing with a variety band for which I had played drumset years ago. I was comfortable with everyone in the band, and as a result, felt less inhibited about playing a new (to me) instrument. The band is playing Irish music for a St. Patrick’s Day gathering at a local venue here in Raleigh.

I needed to learn the tunes and their arrangements on the group’s set list. We played a lot of jigs, reels and ballads, and I learned lots of things about Irish and Celtic music along the way. The song form AABB is common, tempo and feel varies for different tunes within each genre, and finally, I learned just exactly how fast a fiddle player can rip through a jig!!

The neat thing about teaching and learning about percussion instruments is that they appear in every type of music. There is no limit to the fun that you can have, no matter what type(s) of music you enjoy! I had a blast playing a completely different instrument, while realizing that my role was the same as on the drumset…play for the song, keep a groove, listen to everyone around you…and have fun!!

Comments are closed.