Alright, enough of the eejity metaphor. See - this is why I stop myself writing terribly much - even I don't think it's witty or glib. Glitty or wib. If I were to actually say that statement - that's how those words would come out. Shite and briny indeed.
So. I've got a new drum (and at the moment, a newish tipper, 'cos my favourite one got a tyne snapped off it - lesson here: never, ever let somebody else pack up your gear for you; this is a task that should not be delegated. Goes without saying right? Moment of lapsed judgement - at least it wasn't worse than that), and a hell of a parenthetical statement. I'm going to delete this and start afresh, I just know it.
The particulars are: it's teal (Albert says 'blue', I say 'green', my sister says 'teal' - since it's been noted that many things in my possession are green, I'll buck the trend and teal it'll be then), 12 inches in diametre, and a with a calfskin head. It's quiet as well, so if I should take leave of my senses and wish to be the loudest thing on the circle, I'll have to really pound at it. Just because the average bodhrán will go up to 11 doesn't mean that it ever should do, so it's grand that mine seems to prefer to go up to 5. This is a drum that wants to scintillate (unless I'm on my own and practising, then it's loud as a herd of elephants stepdancing out of the fridge in their Morris Minors).
What it hasn't got is a crossbrace, and I'm still adapting myself to that, but since it's cosily within my playing threshold, this isn't going to be a problem. I've spoken to people at length about this before, as has the player (we came up with our theories independent of one another, but they're remarkably similar) in New York who did the class at the last O'Flaherty, so I'm convinced it's got merit. In short: don't play anything the diametre of which is bigger than the measurement between your leg as you're seated and under your arm. Furthermore, it's likely best to play something that's not at the very top of that measurement. My red drum is a 14" (and is 7" deep but for the cut away - which is 4, I think). Because this is so big, and I'm so small, I needed that crossbrace for leverage. Now that I've got a drum that's my size, I don't need it. I'm still getting used to playing without it, but... I take my playing apart down to the elements and rebuilding every handful of years or so; I bought the red drum in 2007 - I'm sure I'm due an overhaul.
All the same, it still hurts (and...I've got a gig at the end of the month, so more practise is better than less; I don't want to be a puddle of dodgy rhythm come the third hour). It's going to take me a while to learn to press into the skin a bit less to change the tone. Intellectually, I know this head is responsive. Old habit, sort of thing. I'm not expecting an overnight change.
Albert's got me pegged as a person who Thinks Too Much about what she's doing whilst in the midst of doing it, and he's right. It leads to choking, sloppy play, stagnation, and entirely too much arguing with one's little round friend. This is a habit which has very likely got deeper roots than my reliance on crossbraces. (I couldn't put a crossbrace into this drum without bolloxing it - it's too small. That, and Albert wouldn't be pleased. You don't ask the chef for salt, right?)
Hrm... Let's forgive this post its poor sentence craft, yeh?
So. The crux of that lot above is: there will always be a bit of adjustment when it comes to a new working friendship. Hrm...perhaps I should stop calling it 'work'.
In related news, I've been thinking about what I'll say in the bodhrán classes at O'Flaherty this year when we're all asked about our expectations. I don't think Mark is doing modern style ('top-end') triplets, so I'll have to keep working on mine on my own (it's never that I can't do them; I can do: in fact, I'm just after doing rather many of them - only they aren't. perfect. With trad ('Kerry') style triplets, each beat has an equal weight to my ears, whereas my modern style triplets sound as though the end beat's a bit short) - what I can do is find out how he moves his about in the tune. I tend to be an intuitive player, thus my triplets often fall where the fiddle players put theirs, 'cos it seems a natural place for them. However, they can go other places as well, and this I know is a skill of his.
I might ask him about complex time signatures (5/4, 7/8... the sorts of times that Flook play in, but nobody frigging else. Bulgarians. They play in 7/8 - he may well chuck a shoe at my head; possibly even my own shoe. That would be funny).
Aaaand...I'll ask him how to avoid being locked into a tune. As a largely (although this has changed quite a bit whilst I was in Atlanta) melodic player, I do tend to build little patterns of riffs based upon the tune. Sure, it's lovely to be able to fall into step with the melody players, but when I'm always doing this little riff at this part in the B of that tune? Jesus, it's awfully dull, and I never want to think of this as dull.
Even if I am sick to my guts of the Kesh Jig.