Move on the Downbeat
Written by an a student at Banjo Camp
I never realized that in hula you move on the downbeat. But you do, and it’s helped me rhythmically unbelievably!! The cross-pollination has been really valuable. I also do rhythm with Blind Willie to loosen up, and then work with Liza Jane. I now see how important it is only to have a few tunes……
….But I’ve really made a lot of progress since I’ve started taking hula. (I get out of hula class, walk in the door, and grab the banjo.) And it I practice hula at home, to Hawaii’an music, and it’s a great warm-up too before banjo practice, but the problem is that it engages my Polynesian rhythmic sense, and I need to reorient myself after I pick up the banjo–but once the reorientation of where to come in has been fixed, it is a very loose flow of energy.
It is unbelievable to me that these two instruments that exerted such a primal pull in my life–the ipu, a gourd instrument and the banjo, a gourd instrument–also have a downbeat rhythm connection, and that their origins were in warm, tribal geographies.