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  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    I got a musician; now what?

    I have a mandolin and guitar player who is now (finally) serious about trying to work together. He has some experience with Spanish music, but has been playing in Bluegrass and Jazz bands for the last few years.

    Now I want him to feel free to improvise, and I gave him some Qanoun music CDs, but I don't really know where to start as far as introducing him to Arabic music. I gave him the Aboudi Badawi Arabic Maqams CD because he wanted to hear Arabic scales, and a couple of rhythm ID CDs so he could hear our rhythms.

    Although he can read music he says he's more comfortable learning a song by hearing it. I thought originally I would buy the Gems of the Middle East series, but if he really doesn't need the sheet music, I'd rather put the money to something else.

    Suggestions?

    And are there CDs out there that feature one instrument alone that's not a drum? How interesting is the music going to be if there's only one instrument? Is this going to be problematic for me as the dancer?

    I'd like your thoughts, experiences, etc. THANKS!!!


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer steffib's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    If you are looking for songs, and not just taksims, my inclination would be to check out oud players who play in a fairly dominant, percussive style. I am not too familiar with very Arabic music, but Berberian and Hagopian may be a good start for the more Turkish/Armenian/Pan-Arabic repertoire.


  3. #3
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    Thank you!! This is going to be a stretch for both of us, so I'm willing to discover new kinds (or rediscover old kinds) of music and dance.

    We MAY have another guitarist/bassist joining us later, but I think he's waiting to see how this works out before he commits. :)


    --an instrumentalist who plays in a dominant percussive style. That's what I'm looking for. Any other suggestions from Bhuzzers?


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer steffib's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    If you have two string instrumentalists, you're golden. It is not exactly the style you are looking for, but you could listen to sample clips of Wine and Alchemy and their predecessor E Muzeki, I have heard them live with rhythm guitar only, and it worked really well. Good luck and post video, please.


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    Oud music without drum: Scott Wilson | Mid-east Belly Dance Music MINUS DRUM | CD Baby

    Book for guitarists who want to learn how to play Middle Eastern music: [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Atlas-Middle-East-Book/dp/0739035991]Amazon.com: Guitar Atlas: Middle East (Book & CD) (0038081232294): Jeff Peretz: Books[/ame]

    You know, YOU can be the percussionist for your band - play finger cymbals while you dance!

    Back when I was a student, the "student night" events where we danced typically featured two musicians only: a percussionist and a melody-line instrument (usually an oud). The energy level that comes of working with live music can transcend the fact that it's a small band.

    I do recommend the "Gems" sheet music books.


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    Thank you all!!

    Shira -- I sent him the link to that book/cd. Thanks!


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer LiesaB.'s Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    I got my husband an oud a few yrs ago[for xmas...for me:-) ]He already plays guitar, bass, drums, doumbek pretty good. He did some simple stuff w me playing zills, & what fun!! Shira is right about the excitement of live music making up for "small band" sound! The Scott Wilson CD is a big help.
    Lucky you!


  8. #8
    kat
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    Advanced BHUZzer kat's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    I also like the Scott Wilson cd -- for any musician or dancer interested in learning rhythms and having an opportunity to drum/zill along with the melody.

    If this person says he's comfortable learning by ear, take him up on it. I'd give him cds of songs you want him to learn and see how he does with them. We have a drummer with our group who plays, I believe, every conceivable instrument known to man. (well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. . .). We gave him a cd of a particular song we wanted him to learn and less than a week later he was playing it -- nearly perfectly -- on recorder. Amazing how mesmerizing live drumming with some added live melody can be!


  9. #9
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    He's done a great Ah Ya Zein, and actually I was really impressed with his interpretation of Perom Pom Pom. I told him to just wing it -- I'm not trying to be 100% authentic right away. He did message me this morning telling me he was really enjoying listening to the CDs, but he was worried about being able to play adequately. I told him not to sweat so much. When I saw Sirocco play, they mostly just messed around, and cool stuff happened as a result.

    I think I'll pick up that Scot Wilson CD for myself. I am trying to get a little better at drumming and that might make it more fun too :)


  10. #10
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    BTW - I'm REALLY excited about the chance to work with him, but he's really intimidated by what he's heard, so I'm trying to take it slow and keep things calm. I told him I don't expect him to sound like a Qanoun player with 50 years of experience :) As long as I can keep him excited about the music, he'll work really hard for me, and that's more than I can say for ANY drummer I've worked with in the last 5 years! LOL

    Thanks everybody -- and I'll keep checking this thread for any other thoughts ! :)


  11. #11
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    For a drummer, you might consider this combination of products from Mary Ellen Donald:

    • One of the Gems of the Middle East CD's (this page of my web site contains a review, including a list of all the songs that appear on each one: Music Review: Gems of the Middle East, by Mary Ellen Donald and Mimi Spencer ) . Pick whichever CD contains the most songs that you like.
    • The applicable Rhythmical Analysis book by Mary Ellen that matches that CD. She has three books, and each corresponds to one of the CD's. In the books, she offers recommendations on how to do percussion for each song on that CD. My review of the books is at Book Review: Gems of the Middle East Rhythmical Analysis by Mary Ellen Donald
    • Mary Ellen's Middle Eastern Rhythms CD. If you get the "beginner" version, you'll get a version of the rhythm that is played slower and more simply. If you get the "intermediate" version, you'll get a versoin of the rhythm that is played at full speed with more embellishment.


    Pick ONE song from the Gems CD that you'd like your drummer to learn. The Rhythm Guide will tell him which rhythm to use when, the CD is something he can practice along with, and the rhythm CD will help him learn any rhythms he doesn't yet know that the song needs.


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
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    Re: I got a musician; now what?

    There's so much music that uses micro tones. Getting sheet music helps me find the ones that don't use them while I learn (slowly, painfully) to stop trying to make everything tempered :)


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