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Showing posts from November, 2018

Gong Player vs Listener

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I think it's important for all Gong and Bowl players to understand how the people at their sessions perceive the sounds and vibrations. It's often extremely different than how the player perceives things.

Frequencies & Wave Forms

One important idea is that the player is right there in front of the instruments. This can create a sort of proximity effect, especially with larger Gongs. With a very large Gong, you may be standing right in front of it, but the lower frequencies are not opening up until they are past you. One thing to do is to strike your Gong, or have someone else strike it, and back up slowly from it. Notice how the sound changes as you move away, not just in decreasing volume, but in frequency. Listen for hot spots where a certain low frequency jumps out.

I experienced a great example of this when I played for the grand opening of the Memphis Gong Chamber. In the main room, they have a beautiful 84" Paiste Symphonic Gong. I was able to isolate multiple hot …

Cracking/Breaking Gongs

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This comes from a Facebook percussion group I'm in. Apparently it was either an outdoor marching band or drum corps show:
“Kid cracked a gong on the first hit of our show Saturday because he didn’t warm it up. Of course. It’s a decent sized crack, and we don’t have $1000 laying around to buy a new one. Is there any easy way to fix it? It's a Zildjian gong, idk how big, I'm going to GUESS 40"? It's cracked right at the edge of the gold ring and the outer ring, and it's about 4 inches long. The mallet we're using is not that hard and should not have done that kind of damage.”
Without actually having been there, or seeing the Gong in person (apparently it was a Chinese Chou Gong), I can only speculate on this, but my first impression is that the kid overplayed the Gong by hitting it way too hard. Playing outdoors is difficult, because the sound dissipates quickly. There are no walls or ceilings to create reflections and contain the sound. Outside, you play some…