Well folks, it is finally here! After a very long road of playing, videoing, shooting, editing and re editing I am very excited to let you all know that my all new DVD, “How To Play Djembe” Volume 1 is now available at X8drums.com. It is over 1 hour and 40 minutes long and covers every possible aspect of how to play the djembe!
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West African hand drumming and specifically speaking, “traditional djembe drumming” is based on a system of fundamentals or “basics” just like any other type or form of drumming be it Indian, Afro Cuban, Brazilian or even the western drum set. There are rudiments or “basic fundamentals” of djembe playing that can be similar to drum set rudiments but also have some other important factors that are often missed in the learning process of many djembe players of all different levels. And what are djembe rudiments? They can consist of techinque, basic rhythm structure concepts, composition (how pieces are formed and go together), “the feel”, learning the basic djembe hand patterns and learning the dunun. It is also important to learn about the history of the music you are playing and the meaning of the pieces as well. I will discuss some of these items now.
Let’s face the facts. Until Mamady Keita arrived in the USA we were playing djembe ass backwards. For example, Mandiani was more often then not being played backwards as Soli, (Donba in Senegal) or visa versa. We were doing the best we could at the time as there was very limited resources available in the late 70’s and very few instructors as well. It was prior to the internet and consumer cmcorders were still years off. All we had was cassette recorders. We westerners needed to be shown and taught “the one”, *(the starting beat or first “pulse” as we call the 4 beat that goes through all of west african drumming and djembe music). We were hearing the music wrong and needed to be shown correctly. It was as …
Before coming to a drum circle, drum lesson or class please leave your personal baggage at home. The music scene or drum jam is not the place to bring your personal issues. Please resolve your issues or complaints outside and away from the drums or drum scene. Many beginners unaware of how beginning they are feel it is their unalienable right to discuss their needs or feelings in the middle of a music session or drum circle. Often it is to complain about their needs not getting met or something such as they want to solo, or be heard. Often these people are not ready to be heard and do not have the basic techniques to make the most basic sounds on their drums. A complaint I often people get …
Very athletic and amazing dancers solo and perform at a “dununba” community drum and dance celebration. Dununba refers to “strong mans dance” as it was originaly called and used as. This djembe drum and west african dance party takes place at my friend and teachers house, the late, great and legendary master dancer, drummer and choreographer Kenoko Sano of Ballettes Africans fame.
A good time was had by all in this meeting of electronica and west african drumming at the BBC club and restaurant on Koh Samui Island, Thailand with DJ Steve , Bobby Parrs on guitar and Michael Pluznick on djembe drums, timbales and conga drums, too. Part one.