Simple is not always easy
Main Fast Off-beat is a really simple beat, but that doesn't mean
it's easy to play. This is probably the most difficult beat to get
right, and one of the most critical. However, it's the foundation
of a whole class of fast beats, so it is important that you
learn it, and learn it you will!
How can something be really simple and not easy at the same
time? The answer is all in the timing. The actual notes in this
mrdanga mantra are not many (four in total). The critical
timing of those notes is what makes the beat difficult to
master. Also required now is good flexibility on the dayan,
the small end of the drum. You really do need to be nimble with
your wrist action to get these four notes properly played, because
it's the notes played on the dayan that will make your
timing right or wrong.
Let me restate that, because it's important. With this beat,
the big end makes all the noise, of course, but it's the timing on
the small end (dayan) that makes it or breaks it. What you do with
your hand on the small end of the drum determines if this beat
sounds right or not, because it sets the timing for what you'll be
doing on the big end of the drum. That simple truth is missed by
many a devotee who never manage to get it right. But you, my
friend, are going to get it right and knock their socks off.
So it's complex because of the timing, but it's simple because
there are only four notes to play. That can't be so terrible, can
it? I mean, four notes?
You hit the drum four times
only – over an over again. What could be easier!!!
Now, guess what? You already had a taste of it when you played
Fast Beat back in Lesson 12, so if you mastered that, you're
half way there already.