What is a Jing?
Jing(징) is a Korean traditional gong made out of thick layers of steel. The stick is usually made out of a a carved thick wooden stick with a ball of layered cloth as it’s head (Like a huge mallet). It is played in almost every genre of Korean traditional percussive music. It’s not particularly special or standing out but it’s the most important as it keeps the other percussions tied together with the sound. Jing is usually hit on the first beat of the rhythmic cycle but it can be improvised and further on played as a solo instrument with the other hand blocking and unblocking the resonance space behind the face (hitting spot).
Back when I was in South Korea, making a Jing paddle has always been an idea at the back of my head but would forget following other things I had to practice. After graduating, I moved back to Australia and searched for music that I can integrate with Korean traditional music. Then I came across a video on youtube and it was Simon Barker’s Five Companions. https://youtu.be/4FZghqwNNfE. It was absolutely shocking to see someone playing the Jing paddle and grooving like Korean traditional musicians but on the western drum set so naturally. After, I moved to Sydney having a feeling that I will learn new possibilities to expand musical expressions and unlock new perspective towards music.
So far, I have been concentrating working on balancing, learning new rhythmic archetypes which are subdivisions of 7s and 5s and keeping up Korean traditional drumming which now I am focusing more on East coast shaman ritual drumming. I’ve also tried to compose and arrange music but had trouble as I’ve been facing a wall on how to develop the structure. Also, I really wanted to add on a sound that will hug the Jang-gu sound. Like how the light surrounds the light bulb. And the answer I knew in my head was making a Jing paddle.
And finally, I’ve put together a Jing paddle! Some parts that were impossible to find in Sydney such as the head of the stick have been covered by Simon Barkers’ old Jing paddle made by Australian drummer James Waples. It’s roughly made but still very good. My future practices will be experimenting with it and playing it with Jang-gu.