How To Play Djembe Drums
How To Play Djembe Drums
Of all the instruments to learn, the djembe drums are one of the most basic, and also allows for a great deal of imagination and improvisation. Wow your friends with your new skills after watching this djembe tutorial video.
Hi, I'm Rick from the Music Workshop Company. I'm going to show you some tips on how to drum. Okay, so now we're going to look at how we play the djembe.
Now, the sound with a djembe comes out at the bottom, so if you play the drum as it is now, that's the sound you get. If you hold the drum up slightly like that, you get a completely different sound. Now, we have to ask ourselves, how do we hold the drum up and play with two hands? Quite simple.
If the drum is smaller than your knees, what you need to do is you need to hoist it up like that and then clamp outside the drum with your knees and then stop the bottom from wobbling around with your ankles here. Now, if the drum is higher than your knees from when it's standing, all you need to do is tilt it forward like that. Both methods allow the bottom of the drum to be off the floor.
So, in this instance, the drum is smaller than my knees, so I'm going to hoist it up like that and play it like this. There are two primary methods of playing this drum. There is the side, and the middle.
Now for the side, this is what we call an open stroke. Now, when I hit with one hand, the other hand comes up. It's almost like I'm saying hello.
All throughout, my fingers are nice and relaxed, I'm not gripping, I'm just relaxed. My fingers are slightly apart and not like that, they're like that, all nice and relaxed. When I hit the side of the drum, what I'm aiming for is to hit the side of the drum with the very edge of my fingers.
There. We'll recap on that. So, for an open stroke, now as you get quicker, you need to minimize your movement.
So you start slowly, and as you get quicker, you minimize your movement. So you use your wrists a lot more. So starting off, you use your arms, you use your forearms, and your wrists.
Getting faster, you're just using your wrists. So, starting slowly, the second way, the second method of hitting the drum is by using the palm of your hand in the very middle of the drum. This can be related to as a bass stroke.
By doing this, you bring out the more bass aspect of the drum whereas with the open stroke, you hear the higher tones of the drum. Again, same with the open stroke and the bass stroke, stay relaxed. Don't hit the drum hard, don't tense, just enjoy it.
Now when you're combining the two, try and strive to get a different sound. Try to achieve completely different sounds. So the high, the higher tones of the open stroke, and the more bass tones of the bass stroke.
So, the djembe is very much - it's an instrument to improvise on and you have to use your imagination. It's completely free with what you do and the rhythms you create. So, you could start, just to start off, you could have your left hand in the middle here, and you could have your right hand in the open stroke position, and you could start with going.
Now, really trying to achieve two completely different sounds, this is where your imagination has to come into place. So, you've got this rhythm. Try to think of ways to change it or if you want to have a more simple approach, if you wanted to get more complicated. .