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Old 01-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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Drumming

1. Ideally, you should practice before coming out to the drum because keeping an even drumbeat is key to creating good music!
2. The "Rule of Thumb" is to keep your drumstick
even or less than the song leader and on the same beat as him. Your drumstick shouldn't be higher or more than his. Harmony is the goal. Even if there are 12 drummers, it should sound as one. It's like playing "Follow the Leader".
3. When drumming for War Dance/Inter-Tribal, the 3 beats in the middle of the song should be kept even as well. Those 3 beats shouldn't be be rushed through or slowed up. They should be kept even and smooth along with the rest of the drumming for that song.
4. War Dance/Inter-Tribal songs have a 'straight' beat. Most other songs, sung socially, have a 'double-beat'. It's important to keep the two separate. For example, you wouldn't sing a War Dance song with a round dance or 'double-beat' style of drumming. Nor should you sing a round dance song with a War Dance or 'straight' style of drumbeat.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:55 PM   #2
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What about us singers?!
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:43 PM   #3
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Singing

1. Try your voice out and get some opinions as to whether you can sing on key and have an ear for music.
2. Learn your tribal songs.Practice singing them, while drumming, to develop the coordination between the drumbeat and rhythm of the song.
3. Start the song 'on beat' as well as second the song 'on beat'. It's often said that these dances couldn't go on without the drum and singers. But what good is a drum and singers without dancers/participants? They are the reason for us being there. The two go hand in hand. The drum and singing should complement and even enhance their dancing!
4. Establish and maintain decorum when at the drum. It brings respect to the arena and you.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:29 AM   #4
I don't do this for fun!
 
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when you start a song isn't always on beat? hmmmm
As far as decorum... I always have my clean Kaw-Dayz on!!!! :)
how what happens when when you put the two together? hmmm...?!?!?!?!
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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No. It isn't. A lot of good singers grew up listening to songs and danced to them. It's very noticeable when a singer starts the song 'off beat'. The dancers have to adjust their step to stay in rhythm to the song.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okndnman View Post
No. It isn't. A lot of good singers grew up listening to songs and danced to them. It's very noticeable when a singer starts the song 'off beat'. The dancers have to adjust their step to stay in rhythm to the song.
So are you sayin you sing on beat?
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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These are basic pointers that anybody can take or leave.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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Ppl that grew up around powwows That sing, (not saying everyone) know how and when to start a song... And how it should sound... When you sing on beat It doesn't sound right...
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:42 AM   #9
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By 'on beat', I'm referring to either the downbeat of the drumstick or its upswing. The initial lead of the song may be fudged a little but after getting into the song, the following leads should be 'on beat' as to not throw the dancers off. Try dancing in place to the song.Try several songs as there are so many.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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That's a lot of complicated words. I just know that if you sing on beat it sounds more authentick, like those keen songs they sing in the westerns!
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:13 AM   #11
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Cant put it anymore basic than that
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:04 PM   #12
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It's good to see this at least mentioned on this site, because we all know, if you try to tell or even suggest to a new singer (drummer) a little bit of knowlege or experience, they just go and talk bad about you or get all mad about "that old guy", then, they just sit and look around while you sing, all while they beat the heck out of the drum. Anyway, rythm is a funny thing, either you have it or you don't, simple as that. I gave up this singin thing a long time ago because of the new drummers attitudes, and, there is some old guys that go out to the center drum and just sit there too, so, good luck with all this drummin stuff.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:38 PM   #13
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Thank you, farmer ned. I only post in hopes that these pointers may be read and tried. I agree...having the proper attitude is very important!
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:37 PM   #14
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This thread got a little off beat. It's hard to explain with words, but each song has alternating stressed and unstressed beats, or you might say every other beat is accented. Sometimes, the drum is beating steadily, but the song words or vocables accent/unaccent every other beat (every second beat). Practiced dancers and singers hardly think about this; it's like second nature. For dancers, the accented beat is the first step of the leg that takes two steps. For dancers who don't do this, they are "advertising their ignorance." George Flying Eagle, Navajo/Taos, says that ha ha they are dancing on the other side of the drum.

Another way of thinking about it. In a women's Southern Contest, all bodies rise on the accented beat; all the heads and torsos are rising at the same time. If a woman is "off beat," she'll be lowering her torso while everybody else is rising. Looks like heck.

Now, getting to the drum. Let's say a song is started second time through by an inexperienced youngster, and he starts it on an untressed beat, when he should have started it on a stressed beat. It throws the dancers off; they need to shuffle to get in step again. The poor drum usually has to follow the bad lead, because it's hard to change horses in the middle of a stream.

In terms of word songs, the words and syllables are arranged to follow the alternating stress. Some native languages, even English, is spoken that way: PE-ter PI-per PICKED-a PECK of PICK-led PEP-pers. I think that the Cehiga (Ponca & Omaha) language is like that. It is essentially iambic. On one of these threads, I used as an example the Cehiga word, Nudáhonga, meaning leader, It is normally spoken with the accent on the second syllable, á. There are a number of Ponca songs which either celebrate the leader or else, the song maker is talking to the leader. If need be, the accent can be changed to Núdahóga or Núdahonga, just so long as it fits the stress and non-stress of the particular song.

In the present day, we sometimes have singing and dancing judges who don't even know about this accent business. Shame, shame.

Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 03-13-2011 at 12:42 AM..
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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Holding your seat at the drum

It also would be nice for singers stay seated when at the center drum. "Either sing or dance but you can't do both" is what the teachings were when I started out. Singing at the drum was an honor and a responsibility that wasn't given up easily. Today, too many singers get up and leave the drum for too long and for no apparent reason.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:16 AM   #16
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Drumming (continued)

Drumming for the Fancy Dance contestants shouldn't be so fast that all the dancer can do is desperately try and keep up with the 'machine gun' type of drumbeat that is so very popular now days. Again, drumming so that the dancer can show off his dance moves and unique style is the goal. The goal isn't to see how fast you can drum...it makes the dancers look foolish.
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okndnman View Post
Drumming for the Fancy Dance contestants shouldn't be so fast that all the dancer can do is desperately try and keep up with the 'machine gun' type of drumbeat that is so very popular now days. Again, drumming so that the dancer can show off his dance moves and unique style is the goal. The goal isn't to see how fast you can drum...it makes the dancers look foolish.
nothin like a good ruffle song by cozad huh
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:38 AM   #18
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I have also observed many M.C's encourage the Southern drums to sing a 'bullet' song for the Fancy Dance category. Now days, even the crowd expect the Southern drums to give the Fancy dancers songs that are too fast. In reality, there's no one that can dance that fast. I've never heard the Northern M.C.'s encourage their drums to sing/drum too fast for the Fancy dance category.
Again...the drum and singers are there to compliment the dancers, not to go against them.
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