Bryan's Blog | #4: A Salute to My Left Hand
A Salute to My Left Hand
A Monster Blog Series by Bryan Lowe
Success feels good, doesn’t it?
While I haven’t exactly tamed my errant left hand, the problem child of the two, I have made significant progress.
I’ve looked back at earlier lessons on Rhythm-Monster with regularity. Today I revisited ST-1002 - The Muscle Groups. I wanted to see again how Super Monster Instructor Michael Eagle was using the thumb alone on that left hand. It doesn’t feel natural yet, but he makes it clear.
As a personal challenge, I tried to carry a steady beat on my practice pad using just my left thumb, that’s it.
"The Pipe Band Drumming left hand technique requires a true one-point fulcrum. Realize the single pivot point," Eagle says.
As I started, the drumstick was doing its best to imitate the excited irregular wagging of a large dog’s tail. No rhythmic beat at all. But within a couple of minutes, the stick was landing within a reasonable circle on the pad and the pace of the beat itself was… ok. Accent control didn’t exist yet and a pipe band would have stumbled if my left hand was their rhythmic leader, but I can now see getting some control over my left hand is possible.
"Actually, the improvement after
about 5 minutes is pretty amazing."
So, now my left thumb aches. It’s a happy pain, though.😬As my thumb recovers I check out the Music Theory Tutor on Rhythm-Monster, the opening lessons are :
MT1001- The Musical Canvas
MT1002- Rhythmic Notation
I’ve been a musician for 50 plus years so didn’t really need the review of the basics such as staff, key signature, note values, rhythmic notation and all that, but it would really help those who are just learning to read music or never had the opportunity to learn music reading in a way that sticks (get it?:)). Still, I did watch parts of both of them. I just wanted to be sure I didn’t miss a thing, and the review didn’t kill me! You can skip them entirely if you’ve got that part down already. All of these classes are always available. That's good.
When I started all this a few days ago I was excited. Then, after watching a few videos like the one below...
I couldn’t even imagine being that good.
But that line of thinking really doesn’t help anyone. Not me, not you.
This is a process, & world-class performances aren’t really my goal.
As I wrap up today’s work, I’m really encouraged. I am having a great time learning, and I really am making some progress. THAT is a great goal. Left hand, I salute you!
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