donderdag 25 oktober 2012

Percussion school

Most people that read my blog are the subscribers from my Youtube channel on which I give the online percussion classes. I probably changed the name of this channel from mdm2230 into my own name, Michael de Miranda. I'm not good at these things......... If Google comes with something new, most of the times I don't understand the consequences.
I hope I am a better teacher! Well anyway, besides the virtual world, I teach different percussion instruments in real life. I have a percussion school called: Sambalan├žo. This school is setup a little bit in the way of Brazilian samba schools. Students get lessons in a group, so they can hear how the complete rhythm should sound! You also get separate technique lessons and we also do performances!
For about 15 years I have given music lessons on music schools in Holland. Here you have a lot of rules that limits the way to give good lessons. And I mean for good percussion lessons. Perhaps the rules are good for violin lessons or guitar lessons, but not for percussion lessons!
For instance, I could give lessons for 1 hour with not more then 3 students....... If you want to play a rumba in a traditional cuban way, you have a problem, you need 5 persons.
In 1994 I started my own school in which I could make my own rules. Of course I had my problems too, but the people that come to my school are getting good lessons and a lot of extra's! We have made 2 CD's and 1 DVD! For amateur percussion players this is such a nice experience. It is also motivating to study for CD recordings. The possibilities to perform on different kind of stages is a nice challenge for amateurs too.
With my school we have even performed in Belgium, Denmark, France and Germany on festivals! I don't think you can get this kind of experiences on a traditional music school in Holland. This is why lately a lot of private music school raised here. In this schools students are getting lessons in a traditional way, but also extra's like stages where they can perform.
In these new kind of schools pupils tend to stay longer and enjoy themselves. The schools also make use of youtube and social media, so they are very fast up to date. Of course in new schools you have good and bad teachers as well.....

By the way, if you would like to see something of my percussion school, you can find them on youtube too. The channel is called: Sambalancoles.

Michael de Miranda.

donderdag 18 oktober 2012

Percussion recording microphones.

Recording percussion can be a difficult job. The range of percussion instruments is enormous! Also the volume of a percussion instrument differs a lot. An udu drum is not as loud as a repinique, for instance.
If you look on Youtube for percussion teachers, you can find a lot of good ones. Unfortunately not every teachers is able to use good microphones... Most of them use the microphone from the videocamera or worse, from the cellphone. Those microphones are an insurance for bad quality.
When I started recording at home, I used a Shure sm57 and it does a really good job. Luckely this tool is not too expensive!
After a while I wanted a better quality, because my ears also developed and I noticed that the Shure couldn't pick every sound. I needed more nuance from a microphone.
Now I work with Neumann km 184 and they deliver a great quality for most of my instruments! I even record classical guitars with it. I don't give guitar lessons, but if I could, I would use these microphones.
There are some instruments that need an other microphone. Instruments like the African djembe, which has a lot of sub low sounds, or surdo's and bass drums with lots of low pressure!
For these instruments I use a DPA 4007. This piece of tool handles the pressure easily. I have to say that it is very expensive.... The air vibrations when playing a bass tone on a djembe or an udu drum is no problem for this mike. If you have the right speakers, you can hear and feel the vibrations!
For the vocals I use Neumann TLM 103 which is a fine microphone too. Sometimes I sing Yoruba songs in my online music lessons, so I can create a complete atmosphere of a rhythm and its background. If you ever take a flight to Cuba or Brasil you will be well prepared!
Well with this good equipment I know that if my lessons on youtube don't sound good, that I am the problem and not my microphones....

woensdag 10 oktober 2012

eBook about the Cuban Rumba's!

On my youtube channel (mdm2230) I get a lot of reactions about my online music lessons. Most of them are very positive and a lot of subscribers enjoy the fact that I write down the notes. So everybody can read a long while playing the new rhythms.
For most of the percussion instruments you can use the same kind of notation, but sometimes I use a percussion instrument that needs an other kind of notation.
Before I started with the notation of latin rhythms I looked in several books to find out what notation is simple and easy to understand. There are many different kind of books and many options. If you only look at the possibilities how to write down rhythms for latin percussion congas........
Well, since there are many percussion books and since the development of media for cellphones and tablets are increasing, I've decided to make an eBook! The first book will be about Rumba's (from Cuba).
In this book I'll put of course the notations of different rumba's from Havanna, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba. But the nice thing is that I can put video's in it too!! The video's that I'll put into it will be "play along" video's! So first you can practice a pattern and when you can play it, you can play along with a live band. I think this is great....I hope this is great when you want to learn it., don't you think?
And since you can download the to your cellphone or tablet, you can practice anywhere you want!
At this moment I am still recording, but I'll keep you informed!

Michael de Miranda.