Talk About Randy Graves & Your Didjeridu Companion
Just wanted to let you know the CD arrived today and it's great! I've been looking for a teaching tool like this
since Day 1! I hope to see Vol. II soon!
Thank you, Randy - this is a very valuable contribution to the Didjeridu Community.
-from Newport, Rhode Island
I spent about 45 minutes with the "companion" yesterday. It is perfect for me
and where I am in my didge "playing." Of all the instructional material that I
have accumulated, yours is the most engaging for me.
I see immediately what my strengths and weaknesses are. The exercises are immediately engaging and progress into a real challenge.
I can see this CD being a powerful tool for me.
-from Stone Ridge, New York
I want to thank you for your great class at Joshua Tree which I got to attend and to say how I especially treasure the instructional CD you sold me. It is the centerpiece of my practice these days. A terrific help.
-from Greenbrae, California
...if you're anything like me, you'll fall in love with
the Didjeridu Companion. I'm sure that Randy's workshop would be invaluable
but it's not necessary to get huge benefits from this CD. Each track is a
set rhythm and he tells you what sounds you need to make to get the various
syllables. Each is presented at 3 speeds so that you can work on each rhythm
slowly and speed up once you can go slow.
If you get to attend events like JT2002 all the time, maybe you don't need this stuff like I do but being the only guy I've ever heard play a didjeridu in person, having a several minute track where I can play along with Randy, trying to get the same sounds and cadence that he does is helpful beyond anything else I could imagine.
An additional sidelight is that Randy plays the rhythm very straight and repetitive but at the same time, he adds just a subtle hint of variation. This seems to be done at a 'just right' level such that if you want to concentrate on maintaining the rhythm, it's there and obvious. But the subtle variations gives you lots of neat ideas for how to make a simple rhythm into real music.
There are also some tracks that are nothing but clapsticks at three different speeds. I really enjoyed playing with them the other night. It made me sound better so I had to like it :-)
Randy...I sure hope you make good on your threat to make more of these... thanks for a great CD.
-from Quebec City, Canada
I want to tell you how much I enjoy the Didgeridoo Companion CD. It has really opened up a lot of doors for me as a new player. What made all the difference for me was knowing WHEN to breathe in a rhythm and realizing, "OK, so that's how it's done!" A lot of instructors tell you how to circular breathe but not when to breathe. It's a real eye opener! I'm looking forward to your next instruction CD.
-from Branford, Connecticut
...I was just listening to it (listening is almost as important as playing:) I think it's a great disc for intermediate to even advanced levels... Great for strengthening rhythm chops, and every couple of bars there's some spice thrown in to keep it interesting, which will challenge you more, once you get the rhythms down. All the spice is done in concert with the basic rhythms and technique right on the beat. The 3 minute track lengths are great, since they will either give you a workout, allow you to add your own variations if you want to, or at least give you some time to "get into it". I think the medium speed will eventually be the easiest for most players, but I would also pay special attention to the slow paced tracks. While speed is another feather for your cap, I know from playing other instruments as well, that playing slow (even forcing yourself to play realllly slow) will make your faster playing excel at a much quicker pace, and help your overall playing immensely. And it is a LOT harder to play sloooow (at tempo) than it might seem! The click tracks are cool, even if you have a drum machine, since you can just hop over to the track on the CD, and play some solo didge without Randy getting in your way.... and then right back for a duet. And one last thing, since the tracks are on the longer side (as opposed to "Now, here's 10 seconds on bounce breath") and the fact that there are variations tossed in, can be a big help to those who don't have anyone else to play with.... since basically on one hand, it's kind of like Randy just jamming, but on the other hand, sticking straight to the rhythm and technique. So you can pick up on what he might do in one bar, and mimic on the next, or just play around and go nuts and see what works when two didges are in play. I think it'll challenge most players (it does me), either on an obvious level, or maybe on a level you never thought about. And once you have finally perfected the thing, use it to push your own playing, like trying to play super-super-quiet fast and slow, or super-hard and loud, or go toot crazy. Then after a while when you go back to just do your own funky thang on the didge, you'll notice improved playing and lots more surprises popping in.
-from Orange, California