you know I started playing music as a drummer when I was a kid and I make most of my living playing banjo and other stringed instruments but folk rhythm is the basis of what I do I think you're going to enjoy learning some of these old rhythms let's start with the spoons let's start with the kind of spoon you need really a heavier spoon is the best and your best bet is to get a spoon that gets wider at the bottom so you can get a good grip on it let me get another pair so you can see what they look like this one has the same kind of bulbous end that'll allow you to get a good grip on them they don't have to be a soup spoon like this but they always have a nice warm sound don't go for those silver spoons either because not only do they not sound very good they're too high-pitched and ringy but they dint really easily this is what you don't want a spoon that gets smaller at the end you really wanted to get wider here's a very nice set of spoons just an old piece of you know army-surplus kind of spoons get whiter down here at the bottom now go find those spoons come back now I want to show you how to do the rhythm I want to show you how to do this with your hands before you actually hold the spoons because you have to learn how to hold the spoons but you can learn the rhythm right now put one hand a little ways above your leg this is your left hand if you're right-handed this hand isn't going to move it's just going to sit there put your right hand in between it hits down on your leg and up on your hand down on your leg and up on your hand so you're getting a little rhythm right there you hear a slap when you go down slap and you go up if I speed that up try that about like that with me that sounds good now try playing just a little bit of a tune while I play the banjo and you play the rhythm we'll get a rhythm about like that thumb don't come here we go it's gonna sound like this stay with me with your hands here we go okay that's the rhythm we're going to make now let's look and see how you hold the spoons because that's the key part and that'll take a little practice now remember all these are folk with UM's they were made by your forefathers and your four mothers who didn't have a whole lot of time to sit around and practice they just did this a little bit each day and learned it over a period of time and that's why I want you to do it too okay we're going to take the first spoon and we're going to put it over that middle knuckle so that it goes in your hand like this your index finger wraps around and holds the back end of that spoon you see that's why I wanted to be wider like that it's going across the middle knuckle right there just sitting right in that little space held in place very lightly with that index finger now your thumb is going to go down on top of it to make it have a good firm grip that's the way you hold the first spoon now I want you to hold them in the back with that finger that's wrapped around I want you to grab that spoon in the back with your index finger and really kind of squeeze on it now you're going to take the second spoon you're going to take the second spoon and put it between your first finger and your middle finger and again that middle finger is going to wrap around and grab the edge of that second spoon now you've got one finger in between which is your index finger the middle finger is holding the second spoon in place and your thumb is on top okay now don't let go those spoons keep holding them tightly basically you're making a fist around those spoons and tap down on your leg you get a little sound there work if you didn't get a sound here's what's wrong your spoons are touching on the way down and you don't have any space between them so rock them back just a little bit in your hand and hit down again see if they're touching they won't make any sound of course so you get a click now put your hand up above hit down your leg and up on your hand you don't have to hit hard it's the light tap ok here's what 90% of you did I'm sure as you let go back here with your index and your middle finger so your spoons begin to look like this and they wouldn't stay over the top of each other well you just got to make that fist around those spoons again it's just natural everybody seems to let go of those fingers right back there in the back when they start playing you're making a firm grip around those spoons and that's what takes a little practice it takes practice no big deal let's do it again okay that's just kind of a little clicking sound back and forth now notice that we can hit on the tips of the spoons this tip that tip on on my hand and on my leg try hitting on your leg first then on your hand or we can hit on the cups of the spoons that's the cup right there and right here you can hit down on your leg and then on the flat part I mean on the bulbous part of your hand right there it can kind of catch the cup of the spoon notice that it has a different tone than if I hit on the tips see how I pitch that is back to the cups you try that that's a little bit of different tone color now not only can you get different tones with that but you can use that to accent the spoons okay listen to this if I just play that's pretty boring in there not very musical when somebody playing along with it wouldn't have much fun I want you to accent the two and the four beat now it's going to sound like this let me count that for you we're gonna start by hitting down our leg that's one and two and three and four one now this isn't really any news to you because just about every kind of music you listen to whether it's rock and roll or jazz almost every kind of music we listen to on Western culture accents the two and the four now you can make that accent by hitting just a little bit harder or by hitting on the cups of the spoons that'll give it a warmer tone you don't even have to hit harder listen I'm not hitting any harder just hitting from the tips to the cups on the two and the four listen one two one two that's the basic rhythm and that's what we're looking to get once we get that everything else is gravy now I want to just play a little piece for you have you accent two two and the four so you can see what it feels like let me play that on the harp and you play right along with me we'll get our rhythm going first four acts hang with between the four say it's that simple and it really sounds musicals very nice musical piece now I want to show you how to do the role that's the basic rhythm we just did now let me show you a roll it sounds like this all I'm doing is stretching my fingers out on my left hand as wide apart as I can get them now I'm making them stiff I want them equidistant apart now I like this or like this I just want to equidistant apart and I want them stiff now I'm going to hold this pose like I have been holding them in my hand and drag the phones across my hot stretch fingers letting them walk down those fingers as though they were steps of a ladder and letting the last beat hit on my leg try to do it real rhythmically like that slow now you need to turn your hand away from you just a little bit it can't be like this obviously it's not going to work so let's turn your hand away from you drag the spoons across it let it bounce down each finger now if it's not working for you here's what's happening your spoons are touching on the way down they're touching right together and you're holding them in a way that they can't bounce because they have no space between them so rock them back in the back a little bit get another grip on them make sure you've got that little space between your spoons and try it again there you go okay now I want you to go back and check your position make sure you're holding them right remember it's across that middle knuckle and they're held tightly in the back and they're not too far forward otherwise you can't really hold on to them well and they're not too far back in your hands otherwise they don't have any momentum to make a clicking sound just kind of a kind of find them comfortable place maybe about an inch or two from the back of the spoons you gotta try it with each characters each one will be different there's the roll now let's think about this roll as though it were a military role you've heard this before on drums try that with me we'll do it just a little slower and then I'll play a tune and we'll see how that fits together here we go we're going to try it slower now remember folks this is video you can roll this back you can play it over and over to the habit if this was a lesson I was teaching you personally we would stop we would go back we would try it again so that's what you have to do as well okay we're gonna do a little turkey in the straw' do that little rhythm that I was just doing and I'll come in and play the tune here we go let's get it going all right that's great now if your hands are hurting probably what's wrong is the spoons are sharp along the bottom edges and maybe need to sand those down or wrap tape around them or get some different spoons or maybe you just need to build up a few calluses there what you will over time but it's always really hurt then there's probably something wrong with them they're probably just cheap spoons all right now I want to show you a couple more little rhythms we're going to do the gallop roll it sounds like this that's the way it would sound constantly and it works like this you hit down on your leg you hit up on the back part of your hand and you cup your fingers under kind of just leaving them there as though they were making a c and then as they go back towards your leg they hit across your fingers and make another note so we got now your fingers don't need to move or flick them back and forth really they can just stay there now in reality if you did this all the time if we get very irritating so you just use it as a little flourish occasionally put in something like this now if you see spoons players you probably see them playing off the elbow try that no big deal just like playing off your hands but it looks different you'll see them moving around their body Lexa's no big deal just moving your hand as they go you might see them do this rhythm across the top of their fingers and across the back same thing this looks good impress his grandma maybe across their arm if they've got a long sleeve shirt with wrinkles in it you can drag it down your arm and let the last beat kind of come across the ends of your fingers like that yeah something like that you can get what I call a reverse roll it sounds like this you hit down on your hand you hit down on your leg you hit up on your hand turn your hand over and then turn your hand over again and hit down on your hands you got something like that now remember to play very subtly when you play the spoons because there's nothing more irritating to a group of musicians and somebody come up to the group who's just learned to play the spoons and they're just raring to go and they just tear into it really loud well you're the background musician you play very subtly so I want to get happy trauma to play one with me so you can hear how quietly one might really play with another musician happy you folks play along with us get your stones and play very subtly right behind this guitar all right yeah I'm gonna get my wooden spoons now just show you some of the fancy licks my dad taught me kind of put it all together an old tune from a group called get Tanner in the skillet lickers

David Holt: How to Play the Spoons
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26 thoughts on “David Holt: How to Play the Spoons

  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Great video, I'm going to give it a go!!!!! Thanx

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Excuse me, …do you wanna spoon¿¿¿ 😆😆😆

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Somehow has a drummer learning how to play the spoons is a step forward in my progression as a percussionist…..

    ?????????

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Never mind, I just want to learn how to eat with a spoon 😉

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    DAVID!!
    I AM GOING TO START IMMEDIATELY! !
    I've ALWAYS wondered how the spooners make so many beats happen with such subtle movement's!
    Thank you so much for this short instructional!!
    You've just inspired me to give it a GO!
    Now I'm off to find the right spoons for my hands!👍😎

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    I’d like to know the guitar part. I know it’s played in C shape on 2nd fret. I hear c…. G…. back to C… then is that Am to F to C , then F and G? I don’t know if that an Am or variant of it. Played on second fret of course.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Who is here from the vid
    Where Tom Hiddleston played the spoon's 😂😂😂
    Maybe tom learned it from here…

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Very good presentation, I'll be giving it a go.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    See, I thought this would be easy and I could use a plastic spoon that gets smaller at the end and it squared at the end as well. I was wrong, so wrong.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    My journey to play bad guy

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Liked for freight train

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Anyone else thinking “how in the hell did I actually learn spoons? “ 🥄

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Who are watching this in 2019😃

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Who else came from big marvel??

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    tHANK YOU SO MUCH!!!:))) you are brilliant! thanks!:)))

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    it’s 2019 and i’m supposed to be sleeping why am I here

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Who thought of Tom Hiddleston while watching it? Anyone?

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    I wasn't trying to learn how to play spoons

    Reply

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