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Archive for June, 2011

by claudia . June 28th, 2011

Just had a delightful experience visiting St Lucy’s School in Wahroonga, accompanying Dean Watson from Flamenco@ on the cajon.

Flamenco@ is a project, created and run by Dean Watson which aims to develop and improve the ability of children and adults with disabilities to listen, dance and express themselves through Flamenco dance and music.

I often get to accompany the workshops with the cajon, which is always great fun…but last week we were there to work – not with the children – but the staff of St Lucy’s before their Annual Board & Staff Dinner which was a paella – that spanish rice – being cooked by Michael…in the same hall we were dancing and cajoning!!

Wish I didn’t have to rush off that night without paella in my belly :(

Thanks so much to all the staff who contributed and got into the dance, and to St Lucy’s for their generous gifts of beautiful gift cards from paintings the kids have done.

Claudia :)

 

by claudia . June 26th, 2011

“When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting.” Fernando Botero

I remember very clearly the first time I learnt a Spanish Flamenco Rumba pattern. I was taking a private class with cajonero Isaac Vigueras at his place in Sabadell, just outside of Barcelona. Isaac is an amazing player, and teacher, (a wonderful combination), has played with some of the best flamencos around, and I learnt some of my most important lessons about rhythm, music and playing cajon from him.

I picked up the basics of the rumba pretty quickly and could play along with him fine, and was kind of expecting him to compliment me – and instead he just said – good – now practice that for 30 – 40 hours and see if you can get it “caminando”. (caminando translates as walking – and in this context means, grooving along, or what drummers sometimes refer to as being ”in the pocket”). That kind of stopped me in my tracks, and made me reassess what it meant to learn a rhythm. Sure enough, after putting in hours of playing something relatively simple, the rhythm did start to change – both the way I heard it, felt it, understood it – and of course the quality of the groove when I played it. I started to kind of … well…move inside the rhythm!!

Like me, a lot of people are in a rush – they want to play fast, complicated, fancy, and straight away… Actually it’s probably pa symptom of our times – this wanting to rush thing…But music is not about making noise or rushing (well…ok maybe sometimes that’s fun too…) So how do we play so that we are “inside the painting”…or “inside the rhythm”?

Rather than seeing practice purely as a means to “getting something” or performing, you might try thinking of it as just part of your life – a way of stilling the mind  – a meditation even. Try the Learn Cajon tip this month and see how rhythm develops for you – whatever level you are currently at.

by claudia . June 1st, 2011

Aurora Percussion is all about getting into rhythm with the cajon!!!

Claudia Chambers

What is a cajon?

This groovy “drum-kit in a box” has its own soul – full of fun and passion. Played with hands or snare drum brushes, a good quality cajon will have a warm bass drum sound with a contrasting snare tone. So think of your favourite music – whether it’s pop, rock, hip hop, soul, jazz, country or whatever – and you can start learning to play along – or make up your own beats and grooves!

Who is the cajon for?

Anyone and everyone! One of the most versatile instruments on the planet. The cajon is for people of all ages and backgrounds no exceptions – who wants to express themselves rhythmically and musically! From complete beginners who would love to learn an instrument, to experienced drummers looking for a less cubersome setup ideal for accoustic settings!

Where can I learn?

You can start your cajon journey with our online learning modules available at www.learncajon.com We have taken years of teaching and performing experience and combined them together to create these online cajon lessons that will grow your style, technique, rhythm and learning speed like no other.  And with this style of learning comes confidence, fun, connection, creativity and ultimately – your own unique expression though music. Just click www.learncajon.com to register for your free first module.

We also have our Learn Cajon DVD available from here with all the modules you need  to master the cajon through learning fun and funky rhythms with great technique.

Interested in attending face to face workshops with Claudia? See our Workshops page!