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Different tones and overtones

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:13 pm
by sebaT
Hy djembefolas :dance2:

So i`m working on my sounds, and my left hand sounds kinda higher in pitch than my right hand. The right sounds ok as far as i know, and after a while practicing the left comes close, but the difference is there, and it bugs me.

Did anyone else have this kind of problem when beggining to practice technique? Is it becuse my left isn`t dominant, or is there something else to it??

Also, although my tone IMHO is ok (for now), has that sound dry, it also has a metalic overtone (i guess it is called a overtone), a ringin sound after the "thud". How can i deal with that??

Thank ya! :D

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:57 pm
by James
Yip. I I have probably got a lower tone and higher slap with my right hand.

Keep practicing :)

Best to play simple patterns regularly increasing speed to improve your technique.

Also try leading with the opposite hand to balance things out...

Good luck and have fun :)

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:08 pm
by Djembe-nerd
Also try leading with the opposite hand to balance things out...
Someone told me to stand in front of a mirror and practice with both hands doing same pattern, and try all kind of patterns.

Anyone heard of this one before

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:19 pm
by michi
sebaT wrote:So i`m working on my sounds, and my left hand sounds kinda higher in pitch than my right hand. The right sounds ok as far as i know, and after a while practicing the left comes close, but the difference is there, and it bugs me.

Did anyone else have this kind of problem when beggining to practice technique? Is it becuse my left isn`t dominant, or is there something else to it??
A lot of people have this problem. Usually, the non-dominant hand isn't as clean and/or loud. The only remedy is to practice, and particularly with that hand. Sit down for ten minutes every day and play alternating tones and slaps with the weaker hand. It'll soon come up to the level of your dominant hand.
Djembe-nerd wrote:Someone told me to stand in front of a mirror and practice with both hands doing same pattern, and try all kind of patterns.
I haven't heard of that one. I'm not sure whether it would make a lot of difference. But, what I know for a fact helps a lot is to record yourself, both audio and video. Then listen/watch the recordings.

I was amazed at how many flaws I picked up that way on things that I thought I was doing perfectly. When I'm playing, my brain tends to hear the sound I intend to play, not the sound I actually play. By listening to a recording instead of listening while I'm playing, I'm removing this perceptional bias and get to listen to the actual sound. Very instructive exercise! The same is true for video. You may well pick up technique problems that you don't notice while playing.

Cheers,

Michi.

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:06 pm
by sebaT
Someone told me to stand in front of a mirror and practice with both hands doing same pattern, and try all kind of patterns.
I read about this, especially comes in handy when you don`t have a teacher or someone to watch and correct you, it is a great way to check your posture and hand positions etc...

And recording is IMO the best way to check yourself, haven`t tryied it yet, but heard from more experienced players, it isn`t always what we think we are playing, that is coming out of our drum... sadly :mrgreen:

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:00 pm
by bubudi
a lot of african teachers teach warmup patterns that work both hands equally.

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:50 am
by Rhythm House Drums
Great advice here from the other folas. Just trying to think outside the box here... I have a drum that has a super thick skin, and more than a thick skin it has a thick spine. The result is a higher pitch on the spine than on the sides.... Make sure you are playing with the spine centered to you, or try rotating the drum from your normal position. You can tap around the edge of the drum and you should hear an even pitch all the way around. If the sound stays the same, than you just gotta work on technique which comes with practice and time.

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:31 pm
by sebaT
Thank ya, the spine is centered, i was told that once before from a teacher :) i`m already praticing simple patterns like Gun Dun go do Pa Ta go do and stuff like that for 10 min without stopping, and after that i lead with my weaker hand, ternary exercises are a great way to develop the weaker hand too. I was a bit worried because the index finger on my left hand was broken a long time ago, there is a nasty stitch and he isn`t quite straight, am a little affraid that i will always have this problem. Will have to wait and see... till then practice practice practice!!

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:57 pm
by davidognomo
I had a similar thing going on.

It was much easier for me to get a better slap with my week hand (left), than with the right.
I commented that with the guy with whom I have classes with, and a guy from his band, and they told me that it is very common in an early stage. The reason is that the left hand, or the week hand, is less tense, more loose. With the strong hand, you try to controle things more.
I have mencioned this in the hand dominance thread, but I'll state it again: maybe, being right handed, there is a neurological influence here. The left part of the body is controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain, more intuitive, and the other half is more racional. That makes sense to me, when I think about the right hand trying to control the way it strikes, and the left hand being less stiff.

I'm keeping practice also :)

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:16 am
by Waraba
I was able to balance my hands pretty well by doing this:

I sat in front of my tv while it was off because we don't have a full-length mirror in the house. So I watched my reflection in the glass. I saw immediately when my left hand took a different position. Also, I could tell when my hands and arms didn't look like professional hands and arms (based on videos of accomplished players). I've been looking--staring--at elbow and wrist angles.

Then, I did slaps with the left (the problem hand). Only slaps, only the left hand. One... at... a... time... extremely... slowly... with... lots... of... time... in... be... tween.... and... the.. right... hand... dangling... doing.... nothing......... pong.... pang... pang... ping... pudd... plip.... pong... pong... pwang.... thippp....

Then I had lunch.

After a few days of this, the left hand got better. Better than the right, actually.

I also practiced with alternating hands, excruciatingly slowly, and also doing a faster slaps-only roll for many minutes.

My technique is not "set" yet, but when playing alone, with no one else watching, I can at times sound like the real deal. Once in front of people, however, especially a room of 50 dancers, I sound again like a mosquito bouncing erratically against a sheet of aluminum foil.

I hope this helps, myself if nobody else.

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:28 am
by michi
Waraba wrote:Once in front of people, however, especially a room of 50 dancers, I sound again like a mosquito bouncing erratically against a sheet of aluminum foil.
Love it! :-D

Michi.

Re: Different tones and overtones

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:56 am
by e2c
davidognomo wrote:I had a similar thing going on.

It was much easier for me to get a better slap with my week hand (left), than with the right.
I commented that with the guy with whom I have classes with, and a guy from his band, and they told me that it is very common in an early stage. The reason is that the left hand, or the week hand, is less tense, more loose. With the strong hand, you try to controle things more.
I have mencioned this in the hand dominance thread, but I'll state it again: maybe, being right handed, there is a neurological influence here. The left part of the body is controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain, more intuitive, and the other half is more racional. That makes sense to me, when I think about the right hand trying to control the way it strikes, and the left hand being less stiff.

I'm keeping practice also :)
david - i think these guys are right about the "weak" hand being more physically relaxed.

Now, if you were starting on piano lessons, you might be having the opposite problem! ;) (Since the left hand plays the bass notes and there is a need for physical strength.)

I think a lot of these kinds of things are about being new to an instrument - as time goes on, the "weak" hand/arm will become stronger and strokes become more even. (I don't personally believe that it has much of anything to do with that idea about right brain/left brain, but then, I am skeptical because that idea was used to sell drawing instruction books back in the 1980s and 90s... I never heard any of my studio art instructors at university say anything like that. :))