I'm Satoshi Sammy Saito, a percussionist.
I'm sure there are people who listen to music & go to live shows but never play an instrument in their lives. There are various reasons, but for example, they want to play an instrument, but the price is high, they don't know where to play instruments, they don't know how to play, and so on.
So this time, I will solve these problems and introduce the best percussion instruments that you can easily get started with.
Maracas are one of the most well-known percussion instruments and names in the world. There are many people who know the name maracas, but originally the name of the instrument is maraca, and since the basic style is to have two maracas,there are two maracas, so the plural form is used.
Maracas are mainly used in mambo and salsa, and there are various sizes and shapes of spheres containing grain (beads), and the sphere materials include leather, plastic, and wood. Of course, the tone will change depending on the combination of size, shape, and material.
What about the maracas?
I will explain the reason why I chose the Maracas as an instrument to solve this theme "Price of musical instrument, place to play, and the playing method".
● The price of the instrument
There are cheap and expensive instruments.
Maracas are cheap at 1000 yen and expensive at 10,000 yen. It's an instrument in the price range that people who want to play an instrument can easily get. By the way, the maracas for around 10,000 yen have excellent sound quality and are for professional musicians, so I think it is not necessary to forcibly purchase maracas in this price range.
● Place to play
Speaking of places to show off your skills, fledgling musicians can participate in open mics and session events held at live bars, etc. to gain experience in ensembles with other musicians and expand their group of musician friends. However, the hurdle is a little high for those who say this is just a musician's behavior pattern, and you just want to play an instrument! So where should you go?
A karaoke box!
Why is it a karaoke box?
①A high percentage of people go with friends and colleagues from work.
②Many karaoke boxes allow you to rent maracas.
③You can easily shake the maracas at your own timing.
④Most people understand it on the spot, and do not get nervous.
This is because there is less tension and anxiety than when playing in public. With a karaoke box, as described in ③ above, you can shake the maracas when you want to, and you can also liven up the atmosphere of the place!! In addition, you can perform to the people you are with!!
There is no better place to play in public!!
● How to play
Regarding the playing method, maracas do not have a special playing method unlike other percussion. Just shake the maracas you are holding up, down, front, back, left and right! As you improve, you will be able to swing without thinking about it, with combinations of up, down, front, back, left and right, but first I would like to introduce the basic way of swinging.
Maracas playing method - basic edition
● How to grasp
Instead of grasping the entire handle, hold the base of the sphere with your thumb and forefinger, and lightly grasp the handle with the remaining three fingers. (See photo)
● Maracas on the right / Maracas on the left
When you have two maracas, you don't just hold them as you like. If they are leather maracas, you can see the inside of the sphere because it’s is a little transparent. In fact,the amount of grain (beads) contained in each of the two maracas is different. One of the maracas contains a large amount of grains. This is intentionally changed in quantity to make a difference in tone. Basically, hold the maraca with less grains in your right hand and the maraca with more grains in your left hand. If you cannot see inside the maracas, the one with the higher sound should be in the right hand and the one with the lower sound should be in the left hand. (The rest can be judged by the weight.)
● Types of basic sounds
Here, I will introduce two of the six basic types of sound.
Shake the maracas downward from the initial position. Instead of just shaking it down, shake it so that the grains (beads) hit the sphere and the handle (see photo).
Shake the maracas forward from the initial position. Shake it so that the grain (beads) hits the center of the side surface (see the photo) of the sphere, with the feeling of pushing it diagonally downward rather than directly in front.
Don't just shake down or to the front, but be aware of shaking the wrists so that the grains (beads) move in a group (like a big ball) rather than break up!
Check out the video for details on specific sounds, arm trajectories, and phrases you can use!
There are various types of maracas, but I would like to introduce one interesting maraca. Regarding these maracas sold by LP (Latin Percussion). The sphere is made of plastic, and the handle and the sphere part can be separated, allowing you to increase or decrease the amount of grains (beads) inside, and the grains (beads) themselves can be changed to different materials. By changing the grains (beads), it is possible to produce sounds not found in the original maracas. It would be interesting to develop new sounds by trial and error by conducting various experiments. This is one of the maracas that you definitely want to get.
Manufacturer: LP (Latin Percussion)
Product Name: LP281R
Which is the best maraca for your first instrument?
When choosing a maraca, shake it. If you can say "I like it!", this will be the best maraca for you. But maybe you don't know if it's okay to shake it or not, or if you're thinking about buying it online, you may not be able to try it. Therefore, I would like to introduce maracas that are recommended for those who want to start maracas. Here they are!
Manufacturer: LP (Latin Percussion)
Product name: LP281
①Light so that they do not put a burden on your hands
②Since the individual grains (beads) are large, they do not easily fall apart when shaken.
③Because the volume is loud, you can swing them without much force
If you want to start playing the maracas, please practice and show off with the above-mentioned easy-to-swing maracas. If you want to master the maracas from there, try out some of the advanced class maracas! The percussion maracas are surprisingly unpopular, but if you can swing them in a cool fashion, you will surely be popular at drinking parties and banquets! Please try them!!