This is a post I made to the Djembe-L list about how to do djembe rolls. This shows you how to do the roll that shows up in Mamady Keita’s solo originals for Soli, Garengedon, and other rhythms as well as in echauffment phrasing for a number of doundounba rhythms.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: [Djembe-L] rolls
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002
Here's a practice pattern for a common roll that shows up in West African djembe playing. If you're doing 1/32nd-note rolls (putting three notes where there would normally be two), you can warm up to it by doing the first and last notes of the three-note roll with the same hand, and then put the middle note in later.
o = tone; s = slap
r = right hand; l = left hand
First, play this sequence with alternating hands:
1 . . 2 . . o o s o o s r l r l r l
Then play the same sequence again, keeping the same time as in the first exercise, only this time use the same hand for the notes that will begin and end the roll (this is the set-up pattern):
1 . . 2 . . o o s o o s r r l r r l
Finally, fill the gap between the two notes with the third note in the roll:
1 . . 2 . . o o o s o o o s r l r l r l r l
Using this sequence helps you keep the feel for the timing as you shift from the alternating hands to the set-up pattern and then into the roll. If you find this challenging (as I still do) you can slow this exercise down as much as you want to get the pattern down and the timing right and then bring it up to speed.
Hope this helps,
At 04:57 PM 8/23/02 +0000, Zak wrote:
>Are double stroke rolls used in West African djembe playing? Does anyone have practice patterns that could help me clean mine up?
This page created 11/26/02; last updated 11/21/03.