I don’t know if I’ve told you guys this or not, but I come from a very musical family. My father is a career musician – saxophonist – but he also plays a boat-load of other instruments as well. I have two older brothers, no sisters, and I’m the youngest. My brother, who is four years older than me, plays the guitar, and my other brother, who is two years older than me, plays the drums. Last month, my husband and I visited my brother and his family, and while we were there for the weekend, we had an opportunity to attend church service with them. Well, not with them exactly because my brother plays in the band, and my sister-in-law sings in the choir, but we were all in the church together.
Every now and then, my brother plays the drums during the night service, but usually he plays hand percussion instruments like the standing bongos, chimes, and something called a rainstick. Have you ever seen one of these? I can’t think of a fancy way to describe it, other than to say…it looks like a log. On the Sunday we visited their church, there was a point after praise and worship when the congregation was seated, and the choir sang a song with the band of course accompanying them. On the stage and to the right, my brother was standing behind the life-sized bongos, and he held the rainstick.
My husband leaned over and whispered, “What’s he doing with that thing? Is he playing it?” I started laughing. Honest to goodness, I really couldn’t help it. I managed to keep it under control and not fall on the floor in hysterics, but the way my husband asked the question, and the way my brother held the stick thing was too funny. When I finally settled down enough to respond without breaking into a fit of laughter I said, “It’s called a rainstick.” I had asked my brother the same question awhile ago, and that’s how I knew the answer. Apparently, as he slowly tilts the log, I mean the rainstick; it simulates the sound of a rainstorm. The effect on the softer songs is especially soothing and adds an interesting touch, but darn if my brother doesn’t look funny holding that dadgum log.
Uh-oh…I see a rainstick being clobbered upside my head the next time my brother sees me.