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I have decided to take up tambourine playing.
What’s that sound? Snickering?!? Hey, folks, the tambourine is no easy instrument to master.
I’ll admit it, I thought I’d have it down in 5 minutes. I’ve got good rhythm so what’s the problem? I’ll TELL you what the problem is. Motor control.
You have to move your arm in a way that just isn’t natural. You think rubbing your head and patting your belly is hard? Yeah, well, try speedily moving your wrist side to side at the same time that your elbow goes back and forth, and only hit your other hand every second wrist twist….phew! That’s tambourining. Plus, it takes some pretty intense muscle endurance. Even as fit as I think I am, I’m struggling just to get through one song. If you start noticing my right forearm resembling Popeye’s, you’ll know why.
This is how I look after only 3.2 minutes of tambourining along to Stevie Nicks.
James has been playing drums since college, so he’s already a natural on the tambourine and every other percussion instrument. I think that’s why I assumed I’d have no trouble on the stupid tambourine. Watching James do it so easily over the years made me assume it’s a breeze. You know what they say about assuming…
James and I are meeting up with some fellow Class B RV friends soonly. Nancy and Mark are RVing newbies who purchased a brand new Winnebago Interstate on a whim last summer, and are still in the newborn-RV-adjustment phase with their rig. I think we can all relate to THAT crazy time. “What have we done?!” “How does this thing work?!” “Quick! We have to have a name!” “Honey, where does the gas go?” We’ve been there. Which is why we are excited to meet up and give Nancy & Mark a little support on how to be master (and mistress) of their RV domain. They also keep a funny blog about their adventures in and out of their Airstream at: www.airstreammohoagogo.wordpress.com.
Since Nancy and Mark are both musicians, and James can play his way around quite a few instruments, everyone’s all excited about campfire jam sessions during our get-together. And though I can play flute, I never learned the art of playing without sheet music. So basically, I’ve got no jam skills.
THAT’S why I’m trying to pick up the tambourine.
Whether or not I get the tambourine mastered before our get-together, I’m pretty excited to meet up with Nancy and Mark. We are currently creating our ICOF’s (index cards of fun) for the trip. Since we have lots of similar interests, you can bet there will be lots of physical activities…biking, hiking, climbing over and under their Interstate (that will be James). I also suggested catching The Little Mermaid at an outdoor theater we will be near, but James said he’s allergic to musicals. Nancy said she was allergic to musicals based off of animated movies. These don’t sound like real allergies to me, so I think that just means “no”.
Wish me luck on my tambourine lessons! I will make sure to get some footage of our jam sessions so you can be the judge of my tambourine success (or failure).