Friday, March 31, 2006

Moutain Rhythm now offering Frame Drum

I was surfing over to one of my favorite drum manufacturers when I noticed that Mountain Rhythm is now producing a frame drum series.

Their drums are available in a frame drum, 3" deep in both 14" and 18" sizes. They also have a bodhran, 4" deep in both 14" or 18" sizes.

Both drums come with a tunable goatskin head.

I haven't played one yet, if you have played one, or own one, leave a comment!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New LP Products Catalog online

The new Latin Percussion product catalog is now online or available for purchase in hard copy for $5. This catalog includes the latest in new and classic percussion instruments from LP.

You can find out about their new instruments for 2006 here.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thanks Kobi

While I am starting out this blog and sending out thanks to all those who have inspired me, I have to give a special thanks to Kobi Hageol. I was very fortunate to be able to take a lesson from Kobi when he was on tour in the states last January (2005). He made a stop in the bay area and he did a special workshop at Rhythm Fusion in Santa Cruz.

I had seen his name in an email newsletter from Rhythm Fusion, but I didn't really know anything about Kobi. So I dropped him an email to introduce myself before he came over from Israel on his tour. Kobi is an amazing guy. Even though we only spent two hours together, I couldn't believe the speed and skill with which he played the drum. Amazing... Complex rhythms and a flurry of fingers rolled across the drum head. I learned much from Kobi in that two hour lesson. The most memorable tip he gave me was to rest as much as possible between each strike, taking a few milliseconds here and there to relax your arm and hand muscles, so that you can have the stamina to play for a whole evening. Good advice. Thanks Kobi!!

By the way, if you want to get your hands on one of the best engineered Dumbeks, check out Kobi's design. I've got one on my wish list... Kobi is also the author of an excellent book/CD on Middle Eastern Rhythms titled: The Art of Middle Eastern Rhythm

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My Drum Teacher: Mike Fair AKA Faraz

I was fortunate to met Mike Fair AKA Faraz, at the local drumdance drum circle last spring. Mike stood out at the drum circle, not only because he's 6'8" (three inches taller than me) but also because of the subtle leadership that he provided in keeping the drum circle on track and he initiated some very interesting rhythms.

As we got to talking, Mike let me know that he was starting to teach lessons on a regular basis, and I was definitely eager to learn more about playing middle eastern rhythms on my Riq. Since that time, a year ago, I've learned a lot from Mike and I am much more confident in my playing style. He has taught me all of the basic rhythms, and provided me with a real appreciation for the complexity and subtlety of playing the various middle eastern drums (Riq, Tar, Dumbek). If you live in the San Francisco bay area, and you'd like to get in contact with Mike you can reach him through his bands website.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thanks Scott...

I have to admit that my obsession with the Riq started when I first heard N Scott Robinson play the solo: Shaken Not Stirred, live at a concert two years ago with Mark Holland. I was mezmerized by Scott's talent and the sheer speed and accuracy with which he played the solo. I had never heard the Riq, nor been exposed to middle eastern rhythms prior to that evening. Mark is a very talented Native American flute player, and he has collaborated with Scott of several albums.

Subsequently, I purchased my first Cooperman Riq in December 2004. What an amazing instrument! The Cooperman Riq is the 'cadillac' of drums. Mine has a fishskin head, and I've customized the zill set to include a pair of the Brass "Hadjingles" and a pair of the German silver hammered finish zills. It's not a traditional instrument anymore, but I've literally got a drum set in my hands.

Basic frame drum rhythms

There are many places on the web to find the basic middle eastern rhythms. I discovered this one while googling to find some related frame drum information.

Here's another link with Riq and Daf rhythms.

We're live with the first posting!!

Hello. This is the first posting on the new blog! This blog will be dedicated to all things related to frame drums, middle eastern rhythms and other fun stuff. Mostly, I just wanted a place to collect and collate all of the information that I find and to add the knowledge as I learn to become a better frame drummer.