THE MOODS OF STEEL TONGUE DRUMS AND PEOPLE

How TO CHOOSE YOUR INSTRUMENT


Music helps us express our inner emotional state, play it, live it, open up, or plunge into the depth and come back up having refreshed your head and thoughts, getting an insight, or letting it go.

That's how it actually helped me express my inner state at that night improvisation and made me think about the things described below.

The steel tongue drum I'm playing here amazed me once again. I have played it many times before when being in a cheerful or slightly lyrical mood, but this time my state was a little heavier, so I wanted to find the sounds that would perfectly match it. I started searching, trying different tongues, and found it at last: first, 3 or 4 sounds got in sync with my mood and gave the sound core, then more sounds were naturally added, but the core was already built. Then we started playing together with the guys and improvising within that sound and rhythms. We caught the main flow and were already able to fully develop our tune in that mood, in our improvisation. It was a real discovery for me in terms of the instrument's moods. I realized how diverse and versatile it is. Then I started thinking about other tank drums.

A tank drum as an instrument that already has particular moods may or may not match your current emotional state. Some drums only have one pronounced mood, while the others are more versatile and combine a few different moods.

For instance, you are happy and having fun, and you want to try expressing your joy with sounds and notes, but your tank drum is deeply contemplative/meditative, or has a mystical mood. In this case, it will be difficult for you to express your emotional state with such an instrument. But when your mood is melancholic and thoughtful, you can easily tune in with such a drum.

The opposite case is when you are thoughtful, preoccupied, and reserved, but the tank drum is markedly cheerful, vibrant, and perky. It just won't match your inner state at all!

Since it has become clear with pronounced moods, I'd like to highlight so-called flexible steel tongue drums. They have a few different moods and allow us to balance between them. On such drums, we can find the mood that is closer to us here and now, play with it, and even mix it with other moods. Of course, they are harder to master, but just a little bit, and only at the first stage.

How can the information provided help us when choosing a tank drum?

The answer is very simple. If you are a person whose mood and emotional states frequently change, choose a flexible tank drum. It can either be a double-side model, which has one mood on the one side, and a different one on the other, or a one-side drum with a flexible tuning mode. It is also crucial to spend a little more time on your drum choice, choose it when being in different emotional states, try it on by ear, listen to its response. Turn on audio or video recordings and listen to figure out which mood resonates with you.

If you are a person that is mostly in one stable mood, or your emotional state is often the same, just focus on it. Choose an instrument by its sound, by its response, while being in your typical state. Or simply choose a flexible instrument too if you want to add new vibes to your mood. A flexible tank drum will help you do it smoothly and naturally.

P.S. In this video, I'm playing a Dvutone of 35 cm, B-minor 11a.


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