foot blocks/tamborine? - Anyone try this?

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Postby congabebe » Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:21 am

I love latin music and jazz, but I have mostly been playing with a rock band. I have sat in with a guitarist, and he leans toward country and ballad type of music. I have seen the cow bell foot block set ups. But has anyone seen a tamborine played this way? The drum shop said that you could do it the same, just mount the tamborine vertically, but this idea does not seem like what I want. I want a crisp ching, no gingle, like an up beat stroke. Cow bell is ok, but blues and country, cowbell can be to much. So, I had wondered if anyone has tried this? I have also thought of using brushes on my djembe to get a softer sound like a snare with brushes. So, I am interested to see if anyone has tried this before. Memphis is loaded with soloist/duos and trios that use those terrible drum machines. The clubs are too small to spring for a band and a drum set would be overkill, so they use drum machines instead. I have seen one trio use a drummer that used a djembe and a snare, tamborine, shaker and that was it. It sounded great, so I thought about the footblock and wondered if a tamborine could be used horizonally.

Thanks,
Congabebe ???
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Postby 120decibels » Wed Sep 11, 2002 11:18 am

Congabebe,

I would be afraid of breaking a plastic or wooden tamborine with a foot pedal.

What I have done is taken a cheap, old wooden tamborine, turned it upside down, and stuck my foot in it (shoe off). Then when I tap my foot, I get a clean, crisp tambourine sound. I don't claim to have invented this idea (I have seen many people do it.)

If you have big feet, take a jig saw (if it's wood) to the frame of this tamborine to accomodate your foot. If you do that, you can wedge your foot in there and get a bigger sound by getting the toe side of the tamborine off of the ground.

Small band playing is great! I have a whole bag of tricks that I bring along. Ankle bells, tamborines, chekere, shakers, chimes, a small cymbal, blocks, etc. I have been brining congas lately, but I love to play Djembe too. I haven't tried brushes on it, but that's an idea!

Good luck.
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Postby tamboricua » Wed Sep 11, 2002 4:15 pm

Two instruments I like to use for this type of gigs, are the Peruvian or Flamenco Cajón, and the Brazilian Tan Tan.

Saludos, Jorge Ginorio ;)
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Postby congabebe » Thu Sep 12, 2002 5:19 am

Great idea, I had thought of taping it or putting a piece of wood under it like a sesaw pedal but I thought the beats would be uncontrolable, but the way you described is perfect. Of course I have a LP football/diamond type style, can't mount it can't stick my foot in it, but I haven't tried, ... sounds more user friendly than a foot block with a reverse pedal like on a coctail drum... I was trying to come up with something, this is wonderful. Thanks for the advise.

As for the Cajon, the spanish style sounds cool too. I have been shopping ebay looking an pricing. What is the best kind for versatility and sound? I have seen pictures but have not see one to test. They are not popular here yet. Probably cause Elvis didn't play one. ... In Memphis, you show up with a set of congas in a country band and you get some interesting looks from the audience. Djembes I have seen a few in the college crowd type of place, but no Cajon's. I was dying to get one and got a Djembe instead. Another question, related to the brushes. Don't they make a thing that sits on the drum surface that gingles or creates a buzz like a snare, maybe even designed for a snare? Or am I just imagining things? I love thinking of ways to make sounds out out ordinary objects. ... I made a shaker out of a rolaids bottle and lentils. Worked great. Of course I went out and got an LP shaker when I could afford one.

I am thinking about getting a Cajon but can't rationalize it cause I haven't been able to see what they can do. Do you actually play them by sitting on them or can you sit and play them like a conga? I have seen pictures both ways. Does it depend on the type Cajon? or the Cajon-ne? ... spell check doesn't work on that word... ;) Anyway, I should start a new topic on this.

Thanks,
Congabebe
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Postby Simon B » Thu Sep 12, 2002 9:00 pm

Another question, related to the brushes. Don't they make a thing that sits on the drum surface that gingles or creates a buzz like a snare, maybe even designed for a snare? Or am I just imagining things?


I think you are referring to the technique in brush-work whereby the right-hand cyclically 'stirs' the surface of the snare while the left-hand accents. Good brush-work really is the most amazing percussion. Maybe the foremost authority on brushes in the world is a jazz drummer called Ed Thigpen - he's written books on the subject. He is very knowledgable about Latin Percussion, too. I have also seen a video in which he performs an amazing solo on kit with his hands, grunting and crying out like Giovanni!

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Postby tamboricua » Fri Sep 13, 2002 1:03 am

Hi Congabebe, hope all is well! I do own one of the new World Beat Flamenco cajón by LP. A very expressive and beautiful instrument. This is the one with the black frame. This new cajón is designed for LP by cajón master maker, Mario Cortés from Spain. It has some guitar strings inside for a better a sharper snare drum type sound. The cajón is very popular these days on unplugged gigs situations. The Peruvian and Flamenco styles cajones you sit on top. Pearl now is making some tube cajones, where do you play them with a conga type technique.

Hope this helps!

Saludos, Jorge Ginorio ;)



Edited By tamboricua on Sep. 12 2002 at 03:37
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