Re: [rhythm bones] Spoons (Again)
- Love the tech support for holding./playing spoons. I agree 100% with the advise. However, in my expereince with playing two "loose" or seperate spoons in this manner, and for long periods of time such as with a band on stage or at a festival...I eventually developed a deep and painfil "groove" in the underside of the "inserted" second or index finger. So, I now bend the spoons at 3/4 inch from the ends of the handles, so that the two ends overlap and can be secured with epoxy or even tape. This esentially forms the letter "U" and when held as described by you, the secured overlaped ends fit neatly into the palm of the hand while playing. This, then, allows for hours of pain free playing while giving the player the identiacl level of traditional playability. Also, when I overlap the spoons, I always make sure the bottom spoon is slightly longer, as this allows for more exotic syncopations while incorporating the "spread finger" array. "my 2 cents"
Greetings again -
It seems that my attachment didn't go through, so it's printed below. Feel
free to reproduce it, if you find it helpful.
HOW TO PLAY THE SPOONS
By Tom Callinan, Connecticut's First Official State Troubadour
The method for playing spoons is fairly simple; it must be,
otherwise people wouldn't have been doing it for several hundred years.
Spoons themselves date back to the times of the ancient Romans, about 2000
First - find two spoons (matched if possible) that fit the player's hand
[i.e. soup or tablespoons for adults/teaspoons for children or adults with small
hands]. As spoon-playing will scratch the spoons, the prospective player would
probably want to select everyday flatware, rather than the silver or
gold-plated variety. Plastic and wood spoons also work fine.
Second - Hold the spoons back-to-back, and insert the index finger of the
dominant hand [i.e. the one you write with] between the two handles. Grasp the
spoons by wrapping the hand around the handles, holding the bottom spoon
tighter than the top one [i.e. where the thumb points straight out toward the bowl
of the spoon]. The spoons should be held in such a manner that there is a
slight separation between the striking surfaces of the spoons. Keeping the
spoons in-line is a test of the potential player's patience, as the hand is
unaccustomed to holding two spoons in this manner. With practice however, nearly
anyone can do it in a relatively short time [depending, of course on the the
player's aptitude and/or patience].
Third - Tap the bottom spoon gently on the thigh, and then lower the other
hand to a point between 4-6 inches above the leg, tapping alternately between
the leg and the hand. Establishing a leg-hand/leg-hand pattern in rhythm with a
song or melody is the next logical step. This leads to other possibilities,
such as: syncopation, and experimentation with other striking surfaces on the
body [the forearm, outstretched fingers, etc.]
Spoon-playing is not only an excellent and inexpensive way to provide
and rhythmic expression for the spoon-player, but it can serve as a
motivating tool for people to attempt something new with a familiar item. The use of
spoons and other "found" instruments can stretch the imaginative and creative
perceptions of people by enabling them to think of these objects outside of the
usual realm of perception. Good Luck!!
For further information, bookings, recordings, etc., contact:
168 Shore Road, Clinton, CT 06413
Phone/FAX: (860) 669-6648
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- In a message dated 02/25/2004 5:53:10 PM, rhythmboard4u@... writes:
<< However, in my expereince with playing two "loose" or seperate spoons in
this manner, and for long periods of time such as with a band on stage or at a
festival...I eventually developed a deep and painfil "groove" in the underside
of the "inserted" second or index finger. >>
Hi Ray, et al -
I'm in my 27th year as a full-time performer, and I do over 300 gigs per year
between Maine and Florida. I know full well of what you speak. In the early
days, I got blisters where the two spoons chafed the right side of my
inserted index finger. Being a former Marine (no brain, no pain!), I continued
playing until the blisters broke and bled. That's when I started wrapping a
band-aid on my finger ... first to allow the lesions to heal, and then later, as a
Somewhere along the way, my finger started adapting to this daily torment by
forming two calluses, right where the spoons rub. I had a similar experience
with my bodhran beater (tipper), which rubs the left side of my right middle
finger. That too has callused over, and it's been over 15 years since I've
used band-aids on either finger. On hot days, or when I have several days of
two-or-more gigs in successive days, those fingers and the fingertips of my left
hand (I'm also a guitarist) start to feel the irritation, but I haven't had
any blisters or bleeding in well over a decade. Our bodies have remarkable ways
of dealing with chronic abuse.