A lot of KENDANG parts are made up of short sequences which repeat until an ANGSEL is triggered, either by the dance moves of the PENARI or by choice from the KENDANG players. (See GILAK lesson). This is especially true of the faster tempo sections, whereas the slower PENGAWAK (lit. 'torso', middle section) and PENGADENG (lit. 'slow thing') tend to have longer, melodic interaction. By melodic I mean one sound at a time (no overlapping) and there is a certain singability to the composite part of the drums, slow enough to pronounce each drum syllable and understand which hits are yours. The first video below is from the PENGAWAK of CRUKCUK PUNYAH* played on the WADON (whose sounds are DAG, TAT, KAP).
*In fact this drumming sequence suits several tunes in the TABUH TELU genre, including two we play: GAJAH NONGKLANG, and BUAYA MANGAP.
Next is the WADON part for the PENGAWAK section of WIRA YUDHA. Sorry this isn't a lesson, rather a reminder of the main groove for those who have already learned it. I intend to create a lesson video soon because it's such good stuff to try - even it you don't have a drum to practise on!
Lesson 1 - POKOK tones and JUBLAG
My favourite tune for welcoming new players to sit down and begin playing immediately. Starting on JUBLAG (which has only 5 keys: I O E U A) the POKOK (literally 'trunk', meaning core melodic tones) is just OOOEOEOA repeated many times. Eventually we slow down to part 2 and change that last 'up a jump' (A)* to 'down a step' (I). Then we move the whole sequence one step to the right, and then up one step to the right again.
OOOEOEOI, EEEUEUEO, UUUAUAUE
Repeat a lot, then speed up for part 3 and keep repeating. That's it for JUBLAG.
*GANGSA actually goes 'down a skip' to (A) but JUBLAG don't have a low (A) so they play a high one!
Lesson 2 - NOROT and NOLTOL for POLOS
Next step is trying it on GANGSA as per the video below. The technique with gaps in it is called NOROT, which appears in many tunes. This involves POLOS playing the POKOK tone repeatedly, leaving spaces for the SANGSIH to play one note higher in their gaps. When it slows down the technique is called NOLTOL, with POLOS now playing both notes of the pattern.
Lesson 3 - ANGSELS.
Simple, regular ANGSELS are triggered by loud KENDANG (drum) grooves. No new material added to create these breaks, just leave some notes out of your regular pattern and adjust the volume.
Lesson 4 - NYOG CAG and 'LUANGAN'
More complicated ANGSELS, as in lesson 4, are not improvised but an option which each group decides to include ahead of time. Once you have your head around the NYONG CAG (leap-frog style) it can be played quite fast for an impressive interlocking effect. Similarly impressive is the (what I call) 'LUANGAN' decoration in the slow movement* as it sound far more twisty and ever-changing than it really is 'on paper'. Not that we put it on paper, but even as I was figuring this one out, searching for repetitive sequences, it fooled me for a bit because of the note we play after the JUBLAG tone.
I use the word NGUBENG for the stationary patterns in NYOG CAG and 'LUANGAN' but fail to mention MAJALAN (JALAN = road) for the moving sequences.
*Slow section in this instrumental style of composition should be referred to as PENADENG ('slow thing') rather than PENGAWAK as I state in the video. Oops.
Lesson 5 - SANGSIH
And a quick run through of all the SANGSIH parts. Much of it is simply NGEMPAT (up a 4th from the POLOS note) but both NOROT (the one with gaps) and NYOG CAG (leap-frogging) require explanation.