It’s no wonder that percussionists the world over are turning to a significantly smaller alternative. The cajon has become a popular addition to many a jam session, acoustic gig, and space-challenged environment. And in the right hands, the beat is as sweet, strong, and soulful as it ever was.
As most drummers know, not every drum kit is the same. They not only vary depending on the style of music played, but also on where they will be played—large stage, intimate venue, or studio.
Young or old, pro or amateur, it doesn’t matter: in a drum circle, no one is better than anyone else. There is no first chair or ranking system, and the performance aspect is centralized within the circle. No wonder drum circles are one of the most popular community groups, a place where beginners and professionals […]
A few years back, while giving a presentation on homemade musical instruments at the University of Washington, Dr. Craig Woodson created a masenqo—a single stringed violin from Ethiopia—out of dental floss, a Styrofoam box, a plastic tube, and some chopsticks. “There was an Ethiopian woman in the audience, and she got up and walked out of the room,” he remembers. “I thought, oh my gosh, I’ve insulted this woman! But then she came back in and her eyes were wet with tears, and she said to me, ‘I had no idea when you started to play that very simple instrument, that it would take me home.’”
Percussion instruments are among the oldest musical instruments we know of. In fact, the oldest depiction of music making can be found in a French cave. It is of a shaman playing rhythm sticks, and it is 17,000 years old. Almost all cultures play some kind of simple hand percussion, and thanks to the migration […]