How To Use Basic Rhythms and Drum Tones on Djembe Drums

Drums are always fun to use and lend that distinct element in any type of music. If you are interested in learning how to play drums, specifically the African Djembe drums, then you will find this article interesting. African music relies heavily in drums and the beat and rhythm of the music so if you want to explore African music, using djembe drums is a good option. Some people even have an innate talent to follow the rhythm of any music so this should be very easy for them.

  • Getting into a comfortable seating position. Since learning how to play drums can be very addictive, you need to first position yourself comfortably. Make sure that your seating area is solid and grounded and that you have enough space to spread your knees apart. Make sure that you are able to move your back or your torso in your position since you will soon find yourself swaying or dancing in your seat as you play the drums. You should also be on stable footing so that you can securely keep the drums in between your legs.
  • Holding the djembe drums. Once you have a comfortable spot, hold the drums in between your two knees. The lower part of the drums must not completely be in touch with the ground – it should be slightly slanted so that the sound can escape from the bottom. Both of your hands should be comfortably resting on the surface of the drums and from here you can try a few experimental taps to see if you are ok with your current position. If not, you can always add on a few cushions so that you are of proper height to the drums.
  • Noticing the sound differences. You can start playing around with the drums by tapping the center portion of it and noticing its sound. Then start tapping towards the outer edge of the drum. As you go to the different parts of the drum, the sound varies so see which sounds you prefer. Naturally, the harder you strike the surface, the stronger the sound will be.
  • Following the rhythm. African music is normally following a quarter scale, meaning beats in a section are in groups of four. So follow this rhythm as you tap to the music and you will soon see that you can feel the pattern. It will then be easier for you to interject beats that you want to add. When you are getting the hang of it, you can have 8 beats in a section or even 16. You can do this by hitting your fingertips and then the base of your palm on the drum to create a faster beat.

The key to successful drum playing is that the drummer should be having fun. By being in tune to the music and to the rest of the surroundings, whether you are playing alone or as a group, you can easily catch up on the music and get a glimpse of African culture. Now go ahead and have fun playing the drums.


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