Each Wednesday the troupe meets for rehearsal from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
Our location changes every other week, so that on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month we meet at the studio and rehearse with the dancers. On the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month the drummers meet at my place.
It might be obvious, but, drumming with dancers is much more fun.
Rehearsal has a few functions for us:
1) Dedicated practice as a troupe.
Trusting and being comfortable with each other is a big part of a live performance. The only way to develop that is to play together before hand.
2) Working on new rhythms, compositions, and techniques.
With most of the drummers so new to it, we are all still learning new things from alternate beats to new striking techniques.
3) Developing dynamics within the troupe.
A crucial part of having multiple drummers is how big the sound is. On the other hand, dynamics make it interesting to listen to, instead of becoming repetitious to the point of annoying or boring the audience, and ourselves. Call and Answer is one way of creating dynamics. Playing multiple, orchestrated beats is another.
4) Having fun.
It is easy to think of rehearsals as work, but it really shouldn’t be. No one works a drum. We play the drum. It is very important, especially as we are all essentially volunteers, to be having a good time. If it isn’t fun, why do it?
5) Working with the dancers.
Some things the drummers do work for the dancers, and some don’t. Since the purpose of the troupe is to give a framework for the dancers to work with it is very important to get together with them and figure out what was good and what needs work.
The ultimate goal of rehearsal is developing confidence.