One drum workshop that is helping to instill the culture of African sounds and music as well as bridge the gap between the lecture room and theatre stage, is Igede. Created by the Squad One Production, comprising professional drummers and percussionists with international repute, the workshop has just completed a 3-day workshop at the University of Lagos.
According to the convener of the programme, Emeka Anokwuru, “Igede is an Urhobo language meaning DRUM. The idea is to teach everything and anything pertaining to the culture of drumming in the African setting”.
This review of the exercise compiled by Olaiya Debbie Eniola of the History and International Studies Department captures the essence of the workshop and the lessons learnt for artistic growth of students who participated.
The three days intensive drum workshop which took place at the Theatre Arts and Music Auditorium of the Faculty of Art and Humanity at the Lagos State University Ojo Lagos Nigeria. The workshop lasted for three hours on a daily basis and was held under the leadership of Professor Sola Fosudo. It was organized by Dr. Yeside Lawal as facilitated by the Squad One Production. The professional drummers who facilitated the exercise are; Emeka Anokwuru, Blessing Idireri, Lekan Adedeji, Peter Enakirerhi and Ben Ukupkash.
Day One – 6/8 Drumming Pattern Class
The workshop commenced with the group of expert and invited drummers introducing themselves. A quick work out followed to ease the muscles before the commencement of the drumming exercise. Then, the drummers mounted the stage, each of them with drums and in unison they performed an intensive drum ensemble accompanied with the sound of other instruments. However, this drumming exercise which they performed was preceded by a resounding chant made by a sole drummer, which therefore served as an intro into the drumming exercise. The day was used to teach a beat whose time signature is known as 6/8. We were taught the beat using the do-do-do pattern. We were also made to understand that in drums, there are only three tonic sofas, such as; do, re and mi.
Below is the progression for the 6/8 beats;
do do do
do do do
do do do – do do do – do do do – do do do x 3
do do – do do – do do x3ce
do do do do do
DAY TWO – 4/4 Drumming Pattern
After a session of performances by the various groups from the lessons of Day One, some drum major students from the department of Theatre Arts and Music came on stage and they performed excellently well on all the beats and drum steps taught so far. As soon as they were done with this, one of the drumming instructors wrote a new beat notation on the board with a 4/4 time signature.
Below is the progression of the 4/4 beat;
After writing this on the board, the drum instructor explained the progression of the beat to us and the same group of drum major students came forward to try the beat and they did excellently well at it again.
DAY THREE – 6/8 and 4/4 Drumming Pattern Revision This day was to bring to the fore all the lessons on 6/8 and 4/4 drum notations with practical sessions to refresh participants. The three days helped to sharpen the creativity of the students. It was established that the fresh drummers could juxtapose between what they often learn in the lecture room and what holds on a practical stage when it comes to drumming in the African setting.