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E.J. used a small wooden table as a drum for most of the class. Hitting the table, E.J. got higher and lower notes. How? I cup my hands, flatten my hands, soften or harden my hands . i.e. stiffen my thumb or pinkie finger . or hit with the heel of the hand or palm or even carefully with the ridge of the hand. Later in the class E.J. demonstrates how he hits the table . the attack, strike and accents.
Each hand will develop its own sounds. But as Philly Joe Jones, the jazz drummer of the legendary Miles Davis Quintet once told E.J., drumming involves every part of your body. It.s how your body is dancing with it.
The way you need to work is to think, see and hear in patterns. The best way to do this is to create a song. E.J. verbalized a rhythm using staccato syllables. Locking down the pattern is the biggest challenge you need to learn. You need to know how to clap your hands in time. Stay on beat. If you can.t even do that, you won.t be able to drum.
The table E.J. is drumming on is capable of producing a lot of sounds which he could think out, intellectualize or analyze. But he doesn.t. E.J. lets his instinct do all the analysis. All instinct means is background analysis . like a computer that has work happening in the background, but all you see is what.s on the screen. The calculations behind the scenes can be intricate and complex. They are happening, but you.re not aware of them . they.re invisible to you. When E.J. looks at the table he does a background calculation; he doesn.t think it out because thinking goes into the forebrain. What you want is back brain mentation. You want to store this work by experiential level.
As you experiment, depending upon how much attention you can put on it, you will learn. It.s not enough to experiment once. You have to build it into your hands. E.J. plays around with different levels of strike . hard, medium and soft. He continues to work out how the accents can occur. Accent just means it.s different from the other hits / percussions.
Accents mainly come from two different sources. E.J. demonstrates high pitch and low pitch accents . treble and bass. He shows that accents can be from loudness as well as softness . the amplitude. Or they can be from completely different sounds, i.e. hitting the brass.
Work out rhythms and patterns you can do. Start simple, keep it clean, which means not a lot of slop. For homework, spend five minutes a day with your drum.