A Brief History
Throughout the ages, man has always sought ways in which to convey emotion through sound. As a result of this, many such instruments have been created for the sole purpose of making music. The piano, the bagpipes, the guitar and the flugelhorn have proved themselves to be fine inventions, but they are getting tired. Certain musical devices have been around for thousands of year, and nearly every possible use has been discovered for them. An innovation was needed in the world of music. And so, as we move into the 21st century, humanity's last hope is this: The spoon!
At fist, many people scoffed at the idea. They were critical, insulting the first artists to stride into the bold new frontier. They were called 'spoonies' and 'motherforkers'. Almost worse than that, they were frequently ignored by critics and consumers alike. When the most respected spoon players held concerts or released albums, there was nary a ripple felt in the media. Even virtuoso Ralph Wiggum found himself getting booed off of the stage. Slowly the art of spoonery began to catch on, and there is now a grassroots movement that grows more powerful daily and threatens to topple the current chart-toppers. If you're reading this, then you already have a good start on the road to becoming an excellent spoon player. If you think that the spoon has potential as an accepted musical instrument and that you can continue on with the movement's proud tradition and its goal of saving music, please read on to learn how you can get started as a spoon artist.
Choosing the Right Set of Spoons
This may seem rather obvious, but in order to play the spoons you first need to select some. Whether wooden or metal, make sure that you pick out two spoons that are identical. Metal is preferable, but if you've got an exremely strong taste for wooden spoons, you should go for it. Make sure that your spoons have the best tone of any that you can find. The musician must always be comfortable with his instrument, so make the right choice. It should be noted that there are some inherent difficulties with the wooden variety of the utensil, mainly that the sound is duller and they completely lack adjustability. Keep in mind that if you want to play a wooden set of spoons in concert, you'll need some serious amplifiers. Think Marshall stack. Anyway, now that you've picked your spoons and spent some time bonding with them, it's now time to move on.
Setting Up Your Spoons
This section applies mainly to metal players. Wood isn't especially known for being pliable. Hold the metal spoons in one hand so that the ends of the stems are even and the bowls are back to back. Slowly bend the stems inward so that they touch at the end. Make sure that the bowls sit flat together. The stems of the spoons should be bent by an equal amount. If they aren't, rebend until you've achieved perfection.
Alright, you've got your spoons all configured, ya hoopy frood, ya. Now we get to the meat of the whole thing. Take the spoons in your dominant hand. Bowls back to back, like before. Hold on to the outside of the stems with the ends touching to create a hinge of sorts. Hold them loosely enough so that the bowls can strike each other. This is extremely important. Now hit the open-bowled side of one of the spoons against another surface. It could be your hand, your knee, the floor, a neighbor's pet. Most anything will work, provided that it's something that won't attack you. It should make a nice 'ching' or maybe a 'clink'. Now that you've got the basic technique, try mixing it up. Hit the spoons on different objects in rapid succession. Listen to your favorite songs, perhaps a little Weezer or Ben Folds, and improvise a spoon part. Play on the off beat, on the on beat, or somewhere in the middle. As you develop, you will be able to follow increasingly complex rhythms. At this point you might want to join a band or even go solo if you think you're ready. Above all, insure that you make good music. The future of the instrument depends on it.