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Kurt Rasmussen on the LP Brazilian Brass Cuica (LP3408)



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hey guys check it out this is lp's

brand-new 8 inch brass Kawika and I

really like this drum this drum has some

great features like top tuning a solid

brass shell and a really well-made

pre-mounted head that's important when

you're playing weeka because sooner or

later you may break the stick inside the

drum if you do you swap out the head and

you're good to go now today I want to

focus on playing techniques for the gwee

cup and the first thing I want to talk

about is the playing position now I've

seen some people positioning the drum

sideways like this and applying pressure

to the head with their thumb I want to

discourage this playing position this

will only increase your chances of

breaking the stick inside the drum and

also really limit your playing ability

now the proper position for the gwee cap

is with the head facing forward so the

heads going to be facing away from you

and your non-dominant hand for now just

rest it on the drum now your dominant

hand is going to be stroking the stick

back and forth with a wet piece of cloth

now I've seen all sorts of materials

being used you can use terry cloth you

can use linen i've seen all sorts of

things for me when i'm using cloth terry

cloth works fine now you're going to

want to cut your terry cloth in a 3 inch

square right and then what you're going

to do is you're going to want to wet it

so i've seen all sorts of liquids being

used milk beer putting rosin on it you

know it's all unnecessary just plain

water works great so what you're going

to do is you're going to take your your

your cloth you're going to wet it

but you don't want it too wet and you

don't want it to dry so I suggest soaked

in your your cloth and then wringing out

some of the water but not all of it

leave it to where you can still wring

out a few drops and if that works for

you you're good to go

so take your cloth and you're going to

go ahead and put your wet cloth and fold

it in half then you're going to fold it

in half again and this fold right here

this is where your stick is gonna lay so

I have a pre-modern here so you can see

what the inside of your Quico looks like

right that's the stick tied to the

head so you're gonna take your cloth and

you're gonna wrap it around the stick

like this and then you're gonna hold it

between your thumb and your forefinger

right and you're going to be stroking

the stick back and forth this way and

you're gonna want to apply some pressure

to those sticks so you're basically

gonna want to pinch the stick now I want

to share a secret with you I learned in

Brazil many years ago I play with a

sponge so here in the States if you want

to try using a sponge ghost find

yourself a package do bees right so get

yourself some do bees and when you take

the doobie out of the bag it's gonna

look like this right and this is a you

want to cut off this border here all

along this the edge and you're gonna

want to remove this netting that's

that's on the doobie and what you're

going to end up with is this really nice

flat piece of natural sponge now I cut

my sponges into 2-inch square right and

the moisture applies to the sponge is

the same as the cloth not too wet not

too dry now I want to explain why this

playing position is so important this

playing position will give you a really

straight line between your hand and your

elbow because when you're stroking the

stick you just want to make this

movement no lateral movement no

up-and-down movement straight forward

and back so what you're going to do now

is you're going to grab your your cloth

or your your wet sponge your wet cloth

and you're gonna go ahead and wrap it

around the stick inside now like I said

if you're just starting out I would not

apply any pressure at all and play the

drum wide-open so there's you don't have

any hands or anything on the head and

just start stroking the stick and as you

do gradually increase your pinch on the

stick until you get a nice even tone

like this

right and what you do that we're going

to move on to the applying pressure to

the head and changing the pitch of the

drum so what you're going to do

basically is you're going to use these

three fingers and you're going to use

your fingertips so short nails are a

must when you're playing Kawika now

you're going to take your fingers and

you're going to put them

next to this object and I'm going to

refer to this as the bead and this is

the what the beat is this is the head

again now the bead is just the top of

the stick that's tied to the head right

so you want to keep away from touching

the bead once you do the stick will stop

vibrating and you'll have no sound so go

ahead and place your three fingers as

close to the bead as possible and you're

gonna want to apply some pressure so

you're gonna want to basically push in

towards yourself now I ask you do it and

pull the stick

this will be your highest note all right

now what you're going to do to get your

second highest note is you're going to

remove your middle finger so let's place

all three fingers next to the bead

remove that middle finger and pull the

stick that should be your second note

now to obtain your third note you can do

this playing the drum wide open but if

you're just starting out I would suggest

leaving this third finger on the drum

because what if you do that you're

always going to have a reference point

of where your hand is on the head

so go ahead and release these two

fingers leave that little finger on

there and you're gonna get your lowest

note right so I would suggest practicing

this by using the backward and forward

stroke and using all three finger

positions right now you can also obtain

some higher notes by using more pressure

against the head so if you leave all

three fingers down you're going to get

some higher notes now you're going to

see some variations of these techniques

and but you know what if you learn what

I've just been teaching you you're gonna

have a really found it good foundation

to build on and I'd like to leave you

with one last thought whenever you're

having a bad day and you're feeling

really really sad just grab your LP

quicker start playing and before you

know it you're gonna have a smile on

your face

oops pardon me

you