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Showing posts from January, 2015

Percussion Technique for Non-Percussionists - Part 2

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My last blog post seems to have vibrated with a lot of different people. I received some lovely responses, as well as further questions. Please note that these 2 posts are mainly written for the person who obtains a Gong for personal sound work and perhaps has no previous musical experience or training. So let's look at a few other ideas here today.


Why do I do that?
I've had some people question the way I play the Gongs, “You really should never hit the Gong in the center,”or, “You shouldn't play on the edge (of a Paiste Gong) because you could damage it.” To that I bring up:


Rule #1 - The Are No Rules.
There is no Gong Bible or ancient codex with all the rules for playing Gongs written in it. Unless you have some sort of spiritual tenet that says, “Don't play the center of the Gong,” then I see no reason not to! As a trained percussionist, I'm always interested in the sounds that can be yielded up by the Gong. The center creates a very unique bell-like tone. It is th…

Percussion Technique for Non-Percussionists

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I've played and studied percussion for over 40 years, so I can't help but bring what I have learned into my playing of Gongs, Bowls, and Bells. Whether I'm performing a concert of my original compositions, or presenting a Gong Meditation session, the idea of drumming technique is always present. In meeting and watching other Gong players, I have found the majority of them with no percussion background or training. To this end, I see many people just flailing away at the Gong with apparently no real idea of what and how they are doing it. In some cases, the resulting sounds are really quite discouraging and awful. I would like to offer some basic tips and exercises to help improve both your playing technique, and the quality of the sound/s you make.

1) When you strike you Gong/Bowl/Bell, is it a pleasing sound? Is it musical? You need to listen to the sounds you make and not just strike the instruments with no regard for the resulting sound. Now people may have differing opi…