Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Drumming on the Edge of Weirdness

Last Thursday night I had an odd experience while drumming. I'm still not sure what happened.

I had left early for djembe class. I parked and walked around the car only to realize that I had not brought my djembe.

No problem. My teacher, Abubakr Kouyate, always brings extra drums.

Then I remembered that I had brought the drum when I left my apartment. I had left it beside the car while took some trash to the dumpster. And then I left it in the driveway and drove away!

Naturally I drove home in a hurry, praying it would be there. It was.

So class was going fine, and I was playing the kenkeni, the smallest of the three big stick-played lead drums of the djembe orchestra. Suddenly the sound of the drum beside me, the sangba (the real lead drum in djembe rhythms) seemed so loud that I could not hear the drum I was playing.

I could not think. I could not even remember the part that I was trying to play.

Since I sometimes have trouble with noise hurting my ears when there are a lot of really loud players, or people who really wale on the iron bells attached to the large drums, I still carry ear plugs.

I put in ear plugs, and I was fine again. I could remember my part, and I could easily play it.

But what happened? Drumming is usually so healing and energizing.

After class, I was still a bit dizzy, but I was fine by the time I stopped at the grocery store on the way home.

If you're a drummer, have you ever had an experience like that? If so, I'd like to hear about it.

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