Refine Your Movement

So many percussionists just seem to play with little regard for how they move and stand while they are playing. This is one reason studying with a good teacher, no matter what level we are at, can help us immensely. A teacher can look at us from outside, a place we cannot see ourselves from. 

Think of your favorite athlete. No matter how many championships and awards they may have won, they still work with coaches and trainers. That's because other people can see the things they do and help correct movement and posture problems. Drummers are no different, and I would say it's just as important for drummers because our role is so physical.

It's important to practice in front of a mirror if possible, so you can see yourself moving in real time. It's also important to record video of yourself to look at and analyze later. 

Another important thing for percussionists is to be involved in some sort of movement activity. Martial arts, Tai Chi, Yoga are all great for helping you move in a more flowing and efficient manner. Dance can help, as too other movement activities like the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method.

Beside being able to move and flow better, there is also the importance of injury prevention. Percussionists are often subject to repetitive strain injuries, like carpal tunnel. Learning to move better, and play more efficiently with that movement, can go a long way in helping to prevent injuries.

Here is a recent video of legendary Japanese percussionist, Midori Takada. Her playing and motions are graceful and flowing. At the end, when she is playing the hanging handbells, she moves like a Tai Chi Master.

Japanese percussionist, Midori Takada

Movement is everything. Don't just stand there stiffly, like a wooden soldier. Learn to let your body flow with the music.

~ MB

Deconstruct Yourself™


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