patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc

patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby johnc » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:58 pm

Whats the difference?

Im three weeks into my Djembe playing (solution to midlife crisis :wink: ) and the beginners guide im following is now moving me into some basic rhythm exercises. 30 mins a day and ive got some patterns memorised but im yet to pick the difference between rhythm and pattern.

cheers
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby Marc_M » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:10 am

I think the confusion comes from the fact that many people interchange words, so it depends on who you are talking to.

Others may correct me, but my understanding is that the music and dance are interwoven so a piece may be called "Diansa", but a number of musicians and dancers work together to perform the piece.

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
:djembe: :djembe: :djembe: :dundun: :dundun: :dundun:

Sometimes people refer to what the musicians play as the song or rhythm.

My djembe teacher refers to parts. So he will speak of the part for one djembe player in a piece. :dundun: Within each players part there are a number sections what my teacher calls phrases. These phrases might correspond to a section of music on any instrument or section such as an introduction, a call (indicates some sort of change), a solo, a phrase repeated for a long time, a phrase to speed up a passage etc., so that a number of phrases make up a part.

Sometimes people break down a phrase into a number of repeated units that are referred to as patterns or rhythms. An example would be the tab at the bottom of the video lessons page - sometimes people call this the "pattern" or "rhythm" for Diansa.

I think it is better to think in terms of parts and phrases instead of rhythms and patterns. To teach, and instructor has to say "this phrase sounds like this" - if you watch my hands they do this (while showing a "pattern of movement of the hands" Otherwise, what tends to happen is people learn a particular "string of drum tones" they think is rhythm and say "Oh, THIS is Diansa". :uglynerd:

Learning from books is great and always there when you feel like playing. However, one doesn't really get the sense of what a song feels like without the rest of the musicians in a full African orchestra. So, if you get a chance, see if you can find a good teacher or at least some others so you can hear all the parts of the songs you learn, if you haven't done this already.

Hope this helps and good luck with the playing.

I'm sure there are a lot of opinions on this so I'd like to hear what others say.

Cheers.

Marc
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby James » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:17 pm

There's all different terminology for the same thing in all sorts of different languages.... It doesn't really matter, but can be essential to feeling like you understand what someone's saying to you...

Yea I agree with Marc, in that if at all possible you should really try find a teacher or at least other drummers to play with and learn from. That's what it's all about and is definitely the best part :)

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with getting a little more comfortable or confident first :)
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby bubudi » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:27 pm

ok this is my take on it:

i can show you a pattern played on djembe for the rhythm tiriba. you can feed this pattern into a drum machine, which will play it with no feeling or swing at all. so there's the first distinction which is that a rhythm has feeling. when you can play that pattern with the correct feeling you are playing an accompaniment (or part).

i can then show you a second and third djembe accompaniment, a sangban part, a dununba part and a kenkeni part. the dunun are the heart of a manding rhythm. you will want at least a sangban, and in most cases 2 or 3 dunun, to get this core. you will also want one djembe accompaniment at the very least. when these are played to the proper feel, you will have the tiriba rhythm.
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby johnc » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:40 pm

cheers all

James and Marc, yes, im trying to get a little bit happening so i dont get to the teacher empty handed.

the very simple guide im following has included accented tone to the bass and tone patterns and calls the inclusion the beginning of rhythem...id agree that having three sounds does create a feel. Not having a slap to work with at the moment is probably not a bad thing, as bubudi pointed out in another thread, im probably not doing technique any favours working on a 9inch drum.

Still, the ability to now play bttbttbtbttbttbt without poking myself in the eye suggest the brain can be organised...feeling in the mind might have to wait for a bigger drum.
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do it with feeling

Postby bubudi » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:15 am

clarity of your 3 basic notes, while important, is only a small part of the feeling of a rhythm.
that can only really be transmitted from teacher to student.
it would include accenting, swing and microtiming, handing and clarity of sounds among other things.
i would also recommend listening to recordings of the rhythm you are learning from the masters to help adjust and reinforce the feeling. realistically, people learn and relearn the feeling of rhythms, so listening 'studiously' from time to time would really help. in fact, a few masters have specifically recommended this in addition to a fair amount of practice.
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby johnc » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:41 pm

thanks bubudi...theres a lot to learn...including the terms.

Is a 10kg 13/14inch djembe light/medium/heavy in weight

cheers
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Getting good wood

Postby Marc_M » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:00 am

Hi John -

By light/medium/heavy, do mean in real weight or relative to other drums? The weight of the drum very much depends on the type of wood. I found the article on the site interesting - you might want to check it out.

Good wood http://www.djembefola.com/board/music-and-drumming/good-wood-t456.html

Also, my teacher has some good information on his website

Alpharhythmroots http://www.alpharhythmroots.com/Advicetopurchaseadjembe.html

If you are seriously thinking of getting a djembe, I recommend buying one made in Guinea. There are djembes made in Ghana, but I don't find the quality as good.

AND, despite all the technical advice and mumbo jumbo - DON'T FORGET TO HAVE FUN !!!
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby rachelnguyen » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:14 am

Hey John,

Fellow midlife crisis-er here! I am 43 and started playing just under a year ago. Now I am certifiably addicted and can't remember what life was like before the drums.

I agree with everyone else that you should try and find a teacher. And don't be shy to stink. I walked into my first class having never played a drum in my life. It was deeply embarrassing that I stunk as bad as I did. But I got over it and kept going back and 10 months later I am not embarrassing myself nearly as often. (I think you would classify me as almost mediocre, LOL.)

Yes, yes, yes, get yourself a drum... but maybe wait until you meet your teacher. My teacher is from Mali and after a few months of lessons I traded in my crappy Indonesian made drum for a screaming African one from Mali. (Along with Guinea, Mali drums are fantastic. I have a friend with a Senegalese drum and it is nice too.)

Mostly, get to a class because playing with others is where the joy really happens.

Where are you? If you are in my area, there are lots of places to find teachers. I am in RI.

Congrats on your new adventure.

Love,
Rachel
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby bubudi » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:46 am

10kg is a heavy drum but it does depend on the wood. a 14" djembe carved from lenke or diala wood would tend to weigh around 9kg (those are excellent woods by the way). some of the senegalese dimb wood djembes would weigh over 10kg. generally i'd agree with going for a mali or guinea drum. i've seen some great djembes from burkina faso and ivory coast as well, but mali and guinea are the most consistent. having said that, you can get duds from any country. if you can get your teacher to come pick one with you, all the better.
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the diary of a beginner

Postby johnc » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:27 am

Cheers Rachel

RI = (REPUBLIC OF IRLAND?)

Im from the bottom of mainland ozz, little coastal town and by the sound of the surf i'll be in the water early am.

The teacher i have in mind is Mady Keita from Mali now resident in Melbourne Australia. Theres a great youtube video of him. He and a chap called Simon Fraser came to the school were i work for a drumming workshop. Kids loved it and it so did i so it got me thinking. Im the art teacher but this could keep a more tribal and interesting art agenda running if i can learn and run some initially very basic programmes at school. Mady will be great for the odd one on one lesson and Simon generally takes the beginners in groups.

I went to Melbourne today to visit their drumming haunt and check out some drums :shock: what a diffence. Tap on a pro series and the vibrations can just about be seen. The different sounds from various drums (of quality) left me a bit dazed. Choices :?

However :!: Im currently bidding on a Burkina Faso djembe on Ebay. A 37cm (14/15 inch?) head and dense dark wood (anybody got any good guesses as what wood that may be). The seller has %100 good rating over many transactions and has skinned 20 or so drums himself so if the things work out I should have a good condition drum at a reasonable price. (might be shot down in a bidding war but :roll: )

this drum is 10 kg and my earlyier question was relative to other full size drums

and yes a few times ive walked away thinking "#$*& me" but if i think back to 4 weeks ago I couldnt tap on the table impatiently so....yes, i will remember to have fun and persist, which is the key :idea:

thanks for the feed back

john

ps: im 42...must be that 7 year recurring thing


Chees bubindi...i just caught your post just then regarding weight. Thanks! Djembes in Australia are expensive> $500 to 650 and more for quality. Ive looked into buying from overseas but the postage is nearly the cost of the drum itself. I will be happy to pay good money down the track but perhaps sooner if need be. Theres the mrs to negotiate :hug:
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby bubudi » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:02 am

john, post up (or pm) the link to the ebay drum and i'll check it out and try and see if the photo/description is enough. don't go by 'positive feedback' - most people who buy drums on ebay don't really know a quality djembe from a pakistani/indo imitation. it's not just oz that's expensive for drums. they cost a packet in usa and europe too, but you're right, $650 is a lot for a beginner to spend. it takes a few years to grow into a real pro quality drum anyway. you just want a decent drum for now, maybe that burkina drum on ebay will be suitable for the meantime. then wait until you strike up a bit of a relationship with mady and simon before buying a pro mali drum (maybe get a discount). mady is a master who'll be able to sort you out with a really good djembe when you're ready for that. he also teaches the dunun (bass drums). i suggest you learn that as well as djembe to really get an understanding of the rhythms. It will help your playing immensely too.
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby johnc » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:24 am

too cool bubudi...thanks


http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Djembe-Burkino-F ... entmethods

and one more which escaped my notice but looks very interesting...next post
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby johnc » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:26 am

johnc
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Re: patterns and rhythm and more ? to come

Postby rachelnguyen » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:40 am

Hi John,

RI is Rhode Island, in the US! So I am glad you have a local teacher!!!

I don't know enough about drums to comment on your ebay finds. I would say that it is something of a crap shoot if you can't see the drums in person.

In my case, I bought a very cheap Indonesian drum to start with and within a couple of months, was ready for the real deal and bought a gorgeous Malian drum from my teacher. It sounds so good now, he wishes he hadn't sold it to me, LOL.

I don't regret the cheap one. It's handy to have an extra drum kicking around. But if you can get a nice one to start with, in the end, you'll save some money.

Tell us how you make out!

Rachel
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