- Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:42 pm
Good advice from Djembefeeling, I agree it is very important to be able to play at speed as well, and "let loose" etc.
Very interesting to read Michi, great comments, I learned a lot from that.
One thing I try to do when I get that tight feeling, is something I copied from videos of Djembe masters in africa (on Youtube) which is to lift the shoulders up as part of the motion of drumming, so it is almost a dance which starts from the shoulders, rather than just an arm motion. I don't do it enough, but it always helps when I do. It helps with what you mentioned, finding areas which can be loosened/relaxed.
After giving this topic some thought, while practicing, I found myself doing something that helped me a lot. I was playing a rhythm and I would alternate which hand I used every cycle of the rhythm to lead and hit the bass/dun with. It creates a nice undular motion, to switch hands after each cycle. I found that it was very easy to work on my left because I was repeatedly comparing it to my right, and was able to kind of "ease" it into sync with my right. They worked together as well, and I kept going until it sounded smooth and felt relaxed. They sort of dance together.
I recommend a rhythm within your comfort zone, but which is interesting enough to keep doing.
It may sound like a lot to do the things I suggested earlier, but the reason I mention them, is that in any physically athletic coordinated task, it is the difference between night and day if someone has worked on toning their nervous system or not. Of course drumming can be an excellent way to tone the nervous system in many ways, but it is also limited, by the posture and repetitive motion, so it will not have the same results as for example, stretching the hamstrings, doing a backbend, a twist etc. Of course these things help with the stiffness which can come with drumming, but what is less obvious is their other benefits, and those of breathing techniques, and subtler work which for example concert pianists begin with. They aren't allowed to touch a piano until they work on posture and breath. Balancing the right and left hand are a lot harder to do if the imbalance originates from stiffness in the spine or hips, so it is very helpful to add holistic techniques into the kit.