The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rehearsal: July 24, 9009

The stars aligned, none of the single guys had dates, and the five of us all got together for a spontaneous rehearsal last night.

I kept it deliberately loose this time, and it went much better.

In the “Learning-from-my-mistakes” folder here is what I did better:

I let everyone relax and freshen up a bit before we started.   We hung out and bullshitted, drank a beer/iced tea, and generally loosened up mentally before we picked up the drums.

I took the woman’s advice, and ran us through a light warm up drill or two, and followed that with a slow and groovy Ayoub jam.  We kept slowing the tempo down on it, until it was really a 4/4 Ayoub, which I think is called a Zaar by most classical drummers.   Whatever you call it, it really jelled us a group, and gave us a nice groove for the rest of the session.

We went over our 4/4 section and added a Nawari into the mix.  That kept it fresh for everyone, and we all played well together.

I laid out the goals again, pure and simple:

  1. Help the dancers look good.
  2. Play on point with each other.
  3. Have fun.

We finished on an up note, playing a nice Malfuf beat, everyone smiling.  Everyone had a feeling of accomplishment, we all knew what to work on in our individual practices, and I made sure that I praised the guys on their hard work and their progress so far, which has been awesome.

C and D have progressed amazingly well. Both are able to handle some pretty complex switches, like Ayoub to Malfuf transtitions, and Nawari riffs in the middle of Saidi measures, so I am really pleased.   I am starting to get really excited to hear us actually perform.

C is starting to really get the groove in all the rhythms we play.   He needs a bit more work on memorizing what we are doing as individual beats within the performance piece.  He has been learning it by rote, as one big piece, and that will cause some problems down the road if we need to change it up, because not only will he be starting from scratch, but he will need to work past what he already has memorized.   Learning the parts that make up a composition individually is really important.

D is getting more confident, and his tone has really improved.  He is beginning to be heard distinctly, which is great.  I need to work with him a bit on letting the fear of mistakes go.   It is really easy to think too much, and that tightens you up, which makes mistakes more likely, not less likely.   Ah, cruel and wicked irony.   An old proverb, that I made up sometime last year, is, ”  No one works a drum.  You play the drum.”

K is becoming a monster.   He is practicing 2 hours a day, and it shows.   The plus side is that he is sponging it up, getting the beats down very quickly.    The down side is that he is moving so rapidly he is in the trying to run before you can walk spot.   All drummers go through a phase where they fall in love with the idea of the blazingly fast solo rolls, and all of the great high end tricks.   And all of that is fun, for sure.   But, the point is the rhythm, and the tone.  Tone is key, and K still needs more time for his Doums to become consistent and for his Teks to pop.   However, in a few more months when his tone clears up and gets steady, he will be really good.    He was much cooler about the MetroGnome, and that really helped keep the rehearsal loose.

N is playing very well, sounds great, and I think the extra practicing from the weekly rehearsals is really paying off for him in terms of confidence and polish.  One thing that N and I do is play top end solo fills very well together.  We have been playing together long enough that we are starting to develop a good feel, almost an intuition, about when the other will be dropping back and leaving room up top for someone else.  When he and I are both on, we sound great.

I had a lot of fun last night, and it is great to be drumming with guys who are really working to improve.

We sound great, and I am really looking forward to Wednesday’s rehearsal, which will be at the studio with the dancers.

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