Something new everyday #29: create my own music language

So here’s the context:

I started playing snare in a samba drum band 2 month ago. Snare in a samba band consist in a very reptitive line, to which one must add the breaks. Those brakes are the goose bumps of the songs we’re playing. And there’s 16 different breaks. I have to learn those for next saturday for the concert we’re doing here in MAdrid in one of the most famous venue, Sala Caracol.

I’ve been learning those breaks on the go for the past 2 months, just discovering them each time we had to play them, looking at the others and learning the gimmicks. But I quickly that I needed something more concrete to hang on to, basically, scores! But no, my school does not provide scores. Learn on the go. To prepare the concert, my only resource is a poor quality mp3 file for each different breaks. I started listening, but how the hell could I retain this all amount of information when at home, I don’t even have a snare to practice.

One of the founder of the school told me “do you think they have scores in Brazil?” I couldn’t answer. But then I thought “maybe not, but they would find a way to get them”. So I started thinking of a way. Easy: just listen to the mp3’s, and build the score. But wait: we’re not talking of notes, we’re talking about shots and rimshots…

So I started working, first on paper, then on Illustrator. And bang: here I was creating my own music language! My own way of writing silences, shots, line repeats. It’s very basic and could be pushed a bit further to really end up having a proper language. And of course, since we’re speaking of language, I hear “font”. So, when the language is properly defined, I will definitely creates the font and make writing down scores for samba snares an easy job.

And the best of all, after 9 hours of work, I not only have scores, I actually know my break lines! Big amount of stress off my chest for saturday, no doubt about that.


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