Review: Level 1 - Percussion foundation course

Dates: Group 1 Module 2, Wed 25th – Sun 29th October 2006
Venue: Whaley Hall, Derbyshire
Tutor: Ravin ‘Raz’ Jayasuriya

Course Background:
This is a new course designed for people who have little drumming experience. Some participants had already undertaken some percussion studies; others had recently joined their local Samba Group. This course is an ideal opportunity for people to try out new instruments, which is not always possible in a local Samba Group, and to obtain an insight into how patterns work together.

Tutor Summary:
We continued with hand drumming studies focussing much of the module on the congas. We revised the Samba rhythms covered in module one and added new elements and patterns. The group was introduced to Tumbao and learnt how to play a basic pattern ‘in clave’ with patterns for one and two drums. We also studied some traditional rhythms and songs, Ijexa (from Brazil) and Iyesa (from Cuba) including phrasing for the lead drum. This gave students an opportunity to learn how to construct a solo.

The material was diverse with studies on a variety of instruments and people gained an insight into a range of Cuban and Brazilian music styles, including Yambu (Cuban Rumba played on boxes). We covered basics on Pandeiro, 6/8 rhythms for congas and also learnt different ways to play certain lines on snare and/or repinique by using single strokes, double strokes and paradiddles.
learning samba reggae
The group supported each other extremely well, working lots in small ensembles and everyone was encouraged to sing. For the bateria we worked through a Samba Reggae.


Development of Samba on congas, Yambu, Ijexa, Iyesa, Samba Reggae

Songs: To accompany Ijexa and Iyesa

Instruments: Congas, Cajones, Surdo, Repinique, Snare, Tamborim, Agogo, Cowbell, Pandeiro and Shaker.

Technique: More exercises to help develop tones, co-ordination and to build up stamina. Exercises included working with double strokes and paradiddles.

Participant Reviews:
“I immensely enjoyed the course, It was hard work sometimes but putting in the effort seemed to pay off. Again it was very diverse, opening my eyes to things I wasn’t even aware existed.

“The bit where you practice in a small group without supervision was a good idea, with people sharing what they had retained and allowing us to solidify things.

“As far as the teaching goes, I don’t think you could ask for a better teacher. I’m looking forward to the next one, though I’m glad it’s not too soon as I’ve got quite a lot of practice to do before then!” Carl Gant

“This concept was exactly what I was looking for and it even exceeded my expectations! Raz is an excellent teacher and I learned so much. I can’t wait for the next module. Even friends of mine from the Netherlands are considering doing one of the workshops. They won’t be disappointed!” Rianne Hekking

Click here for details on the new course beginning in April 2007

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