My week of experimenting with other instruments continues with the drums.
Now, I have absolutely no knowledge of drum theory but that is beside the point of my expedition into unfamiliar territory. The purpose is to learn something about music from another instrument which can be applied to guitar.
The drums are a great way to map out improvs. Although improvisations are meant to be entirely spontaneous, they form through ideas that are already subconsciously present in our minds. The drums provide a great way to expand the cache of those ideas.
When studying improvisation in class, Dan often encouraged me to run percussive patterns in my mind and just let them grow on their own volition. Drums, because of their explosive and dynamic nature, are fantastic for this. They let you grow ideas by going with the flow. I know the most satisfying improvised parts I’ve come up with on guitar came about without thinking and just getting into a nice groove.
For those unable to gain access to a drum kit, you can create the same feeling tapping two pens on anything around you. Don’t do it half-heartedly either – really get into it. Then, try feeding that energy into your guitar to see what grows.