People often ask me, “how do I learn a new djembe rhythm composition”? and say “I can never remember how the parts go in west african drumming”!. Memorization is indeed challenging for most of us. I would like to tell you how I do it and offer some suggestions that may be helpful and fun. I highly recommend developing a whole small simple learning system for any type of drumming you do. And also, being systematic about your approach to drums. This is what works the best for me. So for me this means every time I learn a new djembe or conga drum rhythm I go through a set of things I do to learn it. I rely on this system and it gives me confidence no matter how …
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It Takes All Types! I met with a very old friend today, one of the first people I ever drummed with back in the early 70’s and some one who has inspired and encouraged me in the past as well. We were on the beach talking to some kids from Sweeden and he was telling them about what he does. He is a street poet, he busks and starts impromptu percussions jams with people picking up his many small percussion instruments he hands out that they probably have never seen or heard before. He was explaining how they looked at him, at the instruments curious if he was trying to sell them or ? And he went on to explain how much fun they had, how excited they are. I …
These are the new “Spirit In The Wood” brand conga drums. Made by an artist and musician in PA.,USA named Conrad. He has been building hand made drums for over 30 years and even the late great Baba Olatunji requested and played one of Conrad’s special drums.
I love to play djembes and I also love to study the music we make with djembes. Djembe soloing is a very small part of djembe music as a whole. The djembe is a communal drum and is about community and unity. We all (myself included) get caught up in being the soloist as it is so much fun! But keep in mind that it is about a whole group of people, musicians,dancers and others, too!
[smooth=id:2]; I took these photos on my two trips to Mali and Guinea, West Africa where I studied traditional djembe, drumming, music, culture and African music and dance. Drummers photos feature my teachers Aruna, Brulye and Siaka. Guinea photos at the late great Komoko Sano’s home and compound.
http://www.myspace.com/rhythmsofbarab… This is the shekere I was hired to create (make) for Mickey Hart formerly of the Grateful Dead. It took me hundreds of hours to complete this one and only! It now travels with Micky Harts traveling percussion museum.