I had one set scheduled for another inner city day camp in Trenton, another very hot day in the city. This was in room with around 12 kids, four disinterested ‘counselors’ and a surprise camp director. Apparently the sponsoring group forgot to tell them I was coming. No problem. I launched into my stuff. The kids were young enough not to cop an attitude with the old white guy with a guitar, and we warmed up for a good session singing, banging instruments and dancing.

I’ve started to work with controlling the rhythm sound by introducing the pulse, the beat of the song as well as the shake or long note. It works with the tambourine especially but also with maracas, egg shakers, etc.

Bap, Bap, ssssss, ssssss. two distinct ways of playing that brings immediate gratification to the group. They can hear the effect right away, and sense that they are playing as a group. This turns out to be a great technique in controlling the chaos of handing out random instruments to a group of excitable kids.

As always, these are hard gigs, but it’s good to know that we connected on a very hot July Monday.