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Showing posts from May, 2018

Towards Greater Consistency

I'm often surprised at how a musician will sound one way one day, then sound very different the next. It's not just the actual sound, but the performance, and little details of the performance. Many artists aren't consistent in what they do.

So much of this goes back to preparation. You need to be prepared for every gig/performance/recital. This would seem like a given, but it seems that it's not. This is not to say that we want every performance to be a clone of the previous one, but that there needs to be a consistency, a sense of connection for all performances, especially in a series or a tour.

Playing night after night naturally has its ups and downs. Some nights are amazing, others, just average. But as a performer, we need to try our best to present a consistent performance across a range of dates.

Here are some tips:

1) Work out everything you need ahead of time! Often people keep putting things off, thinking they will get them done before the performance date, the…

Towards Greater Clarity Of Sound

While I think percussion can be some of the most beautiful sounds in the world, others may feel that a lot of it is noise. This difference in perception often has a lot to do with both the clarity of the sounds being made, and the message being transmitted by these sounds.

As a percussionist, I have always striven to create a good sound. This is important to me. Even when I'm creating more of a noise type sound, I still want it to have a certain quality to it. I don't like leaving things up to chance, or just making an indiscriminate racket. To me, everything starts with a good sound. 

I also strive to have a sense of purpose in what I play. Paradoxically, in improvising, I never randomly strike things. There is always thought behind what I am doing. Even in the moment, at an instinctive level, I'm always asking myself questions about what I'm doing:

What sound fits with the previous sounds I've made (or that others have made in a group situation)?What rhythms fit wit…