There is an old expression, getting “In The Groove”.
It refers to a needle or stylus, being dropped at the beginning of a vinyl album.
It finds the groove, and sits in it and just goes around and around for the duration of the album.
This expression quickly became associated with musicians, particularly rhythm players, who would lock into a beat, and play it faithfully and reliably for the duration of a song. With feeling.
It is very important for a musician
To be present
To Lock In
To literally get “Into the Groove”.
The quicker we can do this / achieve this state, the better we can keep time, and the more satisfying we are to listen to.
If a performer is playing and thinking about the shopping, or the bills, or the situation at home, or where the car is parked, they are not ‘Present’, and the audience will pick it up.
More than likely, the musician will either speed up or slow down, and the music will feel empty.
Not ‘Sound’ empty – ‘Feel’ empty.
Music is vibrations, a transference of energy.
If a musician is distracted or anxious, they will transfer this mood to the listener, and the audience will quickly loose interest.
People will sense something is wrong, but not be able to put their finger on it.
On the other hand, when a musician is totally Present and enjoys the music they are playing, the customers prefer their music, but can’t put their finger on why.
When a rhythm is repetitive, it becomes hypnotic. Like a form of meditation. An escape from the mundane world for a few minutes.
Tai Chi and Qi Gong are also a form of meditation. Where you use your breath and repeated movements to calm your heart beat, lower stress and tension, and many other benefits.
This technique can also be applied to music.
As soon as I sit down, I breath deep a few times. Bring my mind back into the room.
Feel the atmosphere in the room.
Feel the vibe of the person next to me.
Feel the instrument.
Sink into the instrument.
Even thank the instrument before I begin to play it.
Music is partly hearing, partly feeling, partly actually playing.
When I run Drum Circles, we all often get off to a shaky start!
But as people ‘Lock Into’ the groove, they gradually put all other thoughts out of their minds, and something beautiful happens in the room!
The collective ‘banging’ becomes music, and as we blend more, the very air between us starts to dance, ebb and flow, up and down, in and out. Like waves. Like breathing. Very therapeutic to witness.
As soon as someone starts to let their mind drift to what they are having for tea, there is a disturbance in the rhythm. I sense it instantly. Soon, we are all distracted, and the playing stops as we all collapse into laughter.
If you would like to know more or book music lessons, please contact Serge at contact us.
Tel: 07910 126663