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I Got Rhythm: Webinar Wednesday March 2024 With Mendi Singh

Webinar Wednesday. I got rhythm! With percussionist Mendi Singh. Wed 6th March 14.00. Graphic of a hand holding drumsticks.

Introducing Mendi Singh

Mendi is a fully sighted professional percussionist who has performed across the globe. His musical journey began at age 3 and he studied for over 20 years under a blind music master, which triggered his interest in working with the visually impaired community. In the past 3 years Mendi has been creating and delivering music workshops for visually impaired people in various centers around the UK including Focus Birmingham, Henshaw’s, and Sight Concern Worcestershire. and has even played alongside several renowned artists including Peter Gabriel and Take That.

Mendi’s Early Music Career

Mendi was born into a very musical household and, with encouragement from his mother, began to play music with his brothers during his early childhood. Mendi found that playing music came naturally to him and chose the Tabla drum as his instrument. His mother used to take him and his brothers to listen to the music in the temple every Sunday. On one visit when Mendi was 5 or 6 years old, the priest that was singing spotted Mendi and his brothers tapping their knees and invited them to perform on stage. This led to regular performances at the temple on Sundays. As the wider community got to hear about their Tabla music, Mendi and his brothers began to play with many talented Indian and Pakistani musicians and masters who had moved over to the UK, which was a wonderful experience for them. Mendi began to play Bangura music (a fusion of Indian folk music with westernized instruments such as guitar) with several famous Indian bands, and by the time he was 17 or 18 he was so famous that he was touring all around the world from Australia and Canada to Europe and the Philippines’. This was when Mendi’s love of world music began to grow.

Mendi’s Music Master

Mendi’s master, originally from India, lost his sight at the age of 2 and, like Mendi, studied under a blind music master. He first met Mendi when he moved to the UK from India over 30 years ago, and from then, Mendi became his disciple. Mendi’s master was a great singer, played a variety of Indian instruments including Sitar and Tabla, and shared with Mendi all his wonderful wisdom and musical knowledge. Mendi fondly remembers performing with his master at the temple on Sundays.

Mendi’s Musical Collaborations And Influences

To have the privilege of performing with talented musicians from around the world and embracing a variety of musical genres is such an amazing feeling for Mendi, and he feels incredibly blessed to have embraced the art of performing early on in life. For example, Mendi once performed with a guitarist in Argentina who didn’t speak any English; however, this language barrier never got in the way of what turned out to be a wonderful musical collaboration. Working with such a wide array of musicians and musical genres has had a massive influence on Mendi’s own music and how he performs today.

Mendi’s Rhythms

Mendi commenced his project with rhythms while working in various centers around the UK and taught his first rhythm workshops on Zoom during lockdown in 2019. After Henshaw’s spotted Mendi’s one-minute video on Instagram, he launched another project to offer workshops on different aspects of rhythm including rhythm accents, dynamics, and how to solo. Mendi’s current project involves experimentation with different rhythms, allowing people to create and record rhythms to produce digital tracks. To play any of Mendi’s rhythms, all you need are everyday objects from your own home (cups, bowls, tins, spoons, pens etc) The skills taught here are fully transferable, and the rhythms can be played on one, two, or even three items. You can even get creative and fill your bowls and glasses with liquid at varying heights to produce different pitches. Grab what you have in your kitchen, click the Play button below, and let’s get rhythm!

WARNING: No wine glasses LOL

The Tabla Drum

The Tabla drum was invented over 500 years ago and comes in two forms:

  • Bass Tabla: Constructed from a metal bowl with a skin on top which is 9cm in diameter and stretched with leather straps. This drum is played using the pressure of the wrist and the tips of the fingers. You cup your hand as though you are holding a ball to produce the different sounds.
  • High Tabla: Constructed from a metal bowl with a skin on top which is 5.5cm in diameter and stretched with leather straps and wooden pegs to tune the drum. This form of the Tabla is higher in pitch and has three layers, each with a different sound:
    • The Inner Layer made of black paste
    • The Middle Layer
    • The Outer Layer

Each sound produced on the Tabla has a particular tone and name, allowing the musician to easily learn drumming techniques and create many different rhythmical compositions. The Tabla is an incredibly versatile instrument used in a variety of musical genres including folk, pop, R&B and jazz. To hear one of Mendi’s awesome Tabla solos, click the Play Button below and enjoy:

Mendi’s Courses

Rhythm Code

Mendi has recently come up with a tactile method of teaching and learning rhythms called Rhythm Code which can be either self-taught or taught in training centers by following course instructions. Please see a course description below:

Rhythm Code is a music course, created for people who are partially sighted or blind, teaching complete beginners from the age of 5 years upwards a step-by-step method of reading, writing, and playing music independently or with someone.  This course is designed in an order that builds on itself for you to enjoy learning new skills in making music. With Rhythm Code you will learn to play an instrument, and you will learn a tactile creative method of reading, writing and composing your own rhythms using raised dots decoded by touch or sight. 

The cost of the course including all equipment is £60. 

The Ultimate Beginner Tabla Course

Mendi has also created online courses that visually impaired music lovers can enjoy. Please see below for a full description of his Ultimate Beginner Tabla Course:

This course has been carefully created to feature the best and most practical lessons, and has been specially put together for beginner Tabla students who would like a clear path of progression. It is designed for all age groups and abilities.

What will you learn by enrolling on this course today:

· You will learn how to play contemporary rhythms and North Indian folk rhythms.

· You will learn the different hand positions and techniques played on the bass and high tabla.

· You will learn the North Indian notation system and the method of how we count and recite the rhythms in the traditional way.

· You will learn the terminology we use in North India to describe all the different aspects of rhythm.

· You will learn coordination skills, combining the different notes played on both drums.

· You will receive a demonstration on how to tune the tabla.

You will learn all this and much more.

You will receive PDF files of all the lessons that will be covered.

You will have unlimited access to free multiple preview videos.

Click Here To Join This Course Today

For further information please contact Mendi Singh at [email protected]