bops wrote:As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
On the other hand, I have several students who have progressed very quickly. They have all had previous drumming experience, mostly drumset, but also congas, bata, pandeiro, etc. I like working with drummers. They have already learned how to learn, so we don't have to work on those aspects.
atam wrote:Many times this image comes to my mind: a group of africans try to rehearse traditional peoples songs and dances from my culture and present it as our tradition in their country. Isn´t that ridiculous?
But I really think that although being fascinated by mande rhythms, our role is not to copy their arrangements, clothes, etc., but maybe bring it to the light and create something new..
But still, I am convinced that every musician should once reach a point, when he will become a master creating his own style and path.
If anyone likes it or not, there is plenty that africans can learn from us - maybe as much as we can learn from them...
michi wrote:I grew up in Bavaria. When I picture a group of African men putting on traditional garb (lederhosen, knee-length socks, etc.) and performing a "Schuhplattler", somehow, the image doesn't work.
michi wrote: But then, I've performed in Africa for local people, and their reaction clearly was one of enjoyment, with men and women dancing just as they would if black musicians were playing.
michi wrote: To master any instrument, it's a really good idea to go to someone who really knows what they are doing on that instrument in a traditional sense and learn from them. Once I have mastered the instrument in that sense, I can go and invent all sorts of things. Alternatively, I can choose to completely ignore any and all masters and simply play the instrument to my heart's content and invent all sorts of things too. Either approach is completely valid. But chances are that, if I have learned how to it right first, I will innovate with competence, and I will draw on the rich source of culture that comes from the tradition. If I haven't learned how to do it right first, I can still innovate just as brilliantly. But the chances of that actually happening are smaller that way, in my opinion.
michi wrote: When it comes to the djembe, I'm sure that there is an exchange in the other direction too. Once a musician becomes competent enough, he will become a teacher merely by making music with other musicians, even if there is no formal teaching going on. And when a westerner pulls out some great new and interesting way of playing a drum, I have no doubt that African players will pay attention and learn what they can. What matters is the music, not who plays it and how!
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