The last few weeks we've been talking about how understanding rhythms can help to really make a song tight. I'd like to take a step back (or forward?) and take two simple rhythms we already know, layer them with a partner (or in a group) and use them to listen to each other. Really try to hear how they fit together and form an entirely new sound.
Focus: Timing, Listening
1. Be aware of both your part and the part played by the opposite group/person.
2. Don't get lazy about form as the tempo increases. If it's too fast for you, play it at half-time for half the time!
Let's get started with the first part: "do ko". If you're playing the first part of this drill, play "do ko" 16 times, starting on the right hand. Simple enough, no?
Next, play "don tsu ku" (right, right, left) 8 times, which equals the same length of the 16 "do kos". Then alternate back and forth.
Probably you get the picture already, right? The opposite group will start with "don tsu ku" and then switch to "do ko" and alternate from there.
Start at a reasonable pace for all players, check the clock, and gradually increase the speed for 10 minutes. This part takes practice.
Don't designate a leader for this--the point is to stay together as a group. If you're not listening to the other people in the group, it's tough to keep the rhythms together. Also, if one person speeds up too fast, and everyone follows, well... it'll be a bit tough at the end.
So, try it yourself, experiment, and take it to your group for practice! You can even try facing away from each other for an additional challenge.
Both of the above rhythms can be switched to a left-hand start at any time. Try this for "do ko":
do ko do ko do ko do ko do ko do ko do ko do ko
do ko do ko do ko do ko do ko do ko don . .don
From there, start the following line from the left hand!