[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 583: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 639: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
First Rhythms - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

For chatting and discussions.
User avatar
By Carl
#7808
I've been reviewing my recordings of past classes. Saddly I can't find my very first class with Mamady. I plan on checking with my friend who was at that class (DC '99 for anyone who might have been there! ;-))

I remember that Moribayassa was one of them.

The second (or third?) day had Maraka don and Soli - Slow (just uploaded that CASSET recording this week)

I also seem to remember that I was exposed to Wassolonka in the first or second year in DC (don't have the breakdown in front of me.... :-)

It's been a long time since I've reviewed these old tapes and MDs. I now have a easy way to get them on my computer so I'm going back to make MP3s.

It's been nice remembering the old days of overnight drives from NH to DC. the crab cakes we'd get down the street from the classes... good times.

C
User avatar
By michi
#7812
t's been nice remembering the old days of overnight drives from NH to DC. the crab cakes we'd get down the street from the classes... good times.
Spoken like one of the elders... Next thing, you'll be telling us that, in your days, the oxen had bigger heads too, and children still had respect for adults ;-)

My first rhythm was Kadan. I remember being completely blown away by the off-beat Kenkeni. I had no idea at the time how that worked... :)

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By Carl
#7816
Damn-it, children DID have respect back in those days!
I had to walk uphill BOTH WAYS to get to class!
In the snow! (oh, wait... it was DC in the fall... never mind...)

C
User avatar
By Nodrog
#7845
And the struggles you had trying to play a djembe in a shoe box, ha, ha.... :lol:

Gordon.
User avatar
By e2c
#9451
rachelnguyen wrote:Psaw. While you guys were playing your drums, I was out back butchering the goats.
;) I have a very old newspaper clipping - from the 1800s - about some members of my family and their annual fall get-together. Basically, it says that the men sat around shooting the breeze while the women did all the butchering and food preparation. There were, apparently, many "turkies" served. (And hams, etc.) It doesn't say who did the dishes, but it does seem clear that everyone ate very well and generally had a good time.

As for the 1st rhythm I "learned," it was balakulandjan, as Famoudou Konate teaches it. I use the quotes simply because i didn't retain much of anything and had to go over it all with my teacher a while after the fact.
User avatar
By rachelnguyen
#9454
It is interesting to revisit rhythms I learned as a complete novice. Now I realize just how badly I played them. No tones, no slaps.. just the sledge hammer effect of slamming the skin. I find it challenging to try and relearn the early ones, sometimes. Far more difficult than learning a new one.

I still have trouble with Sidiyasa, for example. I just don't really hear it in my head, even after all this time of playing it.

Every now and then, at a private lesson, my teacher will surprise me with a pop quiz and make me play all the songs I have ever learned from him. And while I can more or less remember all the handing, there are definitely ones I get the swing of better... and they tend to be the ones I learned later, as a more intermediate student.

Anyone else have that experience? Any stories about how you 'relearned' the early stuff?
User avatar
By michi
#9456
Yes, I have a few cases where I learned a rhythm early on and re-learned it again later.

Kluma (a Ghanaian rhythm) comes to mind. It starts out in typical 4/4 (quite fast) and then, in the middle of the rhythm, the soloist plays a 12/8 call and the rhythm switches to 12/8, maintaining the same 4/4 pulse, which creates a "slow down" effect. After a while, it goes back with a 4/4 call to the original rhythm. When I first learned this, the transitions baffled me completely. If found it very hard to feel the time signature change and constant pulse. About two years later, I re-learned that rhythm and found that, suddenly, I had no problem at all.

Another one is Tiriba. My teacher at the time introduced the first hand part without establishing the pulse first. Because the first accompaniment has equally-spaced slaps (each following 1/8th note after the pulse), I felt the pulse where the slaps are, instead of on the basses. It took me months of concentrated effort to re-program myself to feel it on the right side. Now, Tiriba comes easily, and I have no problem feeling it the right way.

Mendiani is yet another one. I first learned it from Aliou Sylla, maybe a year after I'd started drumming, and was completely baffled, both by the sangban and the solo holding pattern. Coming back to it about a year ago, things were much, much easier.

So, I find very much the same thing. Rhythms that I learned early on are not as solid. Not because they are further back in time, I think, but because I had less experience back then, and less vocabulary to relate each rhythm to. In turn, I think that means I committed those rhythms to memory in a different way than I commit rhythms to memory now. Back then, my understanding and depth of feeling a rhythm were much shallower. If I could analyse exactly how and where my brain stores each rhythm, I suspect that I would find that, for these early rhythms, there is a structural difference in the way they are stored. It's not until I return to an early rhythm and re-learn it that it gets moved into its proper place in my brain, alongside the other rhythms I learned later.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By e2c
#9459
Same here - the stuff I was taught early on just didn't get fixed in my brain and body in the same way that more recent rhythms have. OTOH, none of the djembe parts made much sense to me until I started playing sangban and kenkeni parts... so I guess everything prior to that is shaky, while more recent stuff is much less so.

But hey, I *still* need to work for all of it, and think I always will. :)
User avatar
By Jessie
#9552
My first rhythms that a couple of my friends brought back from guinea to show us were: soko, kassa ni soro, mendiani, konkoba, kawa and soli. Looking back it was sort of a difficult bunch of rhythms to start with, but I guess Koumbana didn't think it would be a problem to start with those. Nothing like jumping right in. When I teach my classes I like to start with easier rhythm though.
By vink
#9691
You all have a lot of experience and are reminiscing. For me, I'm actually there right now, I'm totally new to Djembe, I am starting to work with Michael Taylors video which has the basic bass/tone/slap, and then some simple patterns. I also have Mamdady DVD, which teaches Fankani as the first traditional rhythm.

So, my question is : is Fankani a good starting traditional West African rhythm to learn?

(Maybe I'll get to take some classes in Summer, but no chance before that -- too many other things in the way, and the nearest classes I know are at least 45 minutes away in Santa Cruz, CA).
User avatar
By michi
#9693
Fankani is a good rhythm to start. Not too difficult to play, and easy to feel. Watch your handing for the djembe parts--play them the way they are shown, with the exact same handing (unless you are left-handed, in which case you simply reverse everything).

The sangban part for Fankani is a little challenging. You may need to spend some time on that before you get the feel right.

If you are looking for more teaching DVDs, Mamady's other four DVDs are excellent. (Vol.4 is definitely for more advanced players.) Also, the (currently) two (shortly to be three) teaching DVDs by Bangouraké are very good.

But, if at all possible, find yourself a teacher. It's important, especially in the early stages, when you develop the basics of your technique.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By Djembe-nerd
#9695
45 minutes drive is good. I travel 1 hour and quarter to take the classes, and still feel lucky that I have a teacher. Don;t want to be in a place where there are no teachers.

Fankani is a good rhythym. We play it often. Kuku is another rhytym that is very popular.

All the best.
By vink
#9696
Michi and Adam,

Thanks for the quick reply and suggestions. I understand the reason to look for a teacher early because you need to get the basics right -- in fact, I am wondering that about technique, because it is really hard for me to see if I am getting the base, slap, tone correct. But, too many things going on with the family too right at the moment. I am thinking of just focusing on some of the basic ghosting and binary rhythms in the Taylor video for a while till I have a chance to get a teacher, since that might help in getting the inner metronome working OK. Is that a good idea?

By the way, I remember someone posting here that they are in Santa Cruz, CA -- although I can't remember who it was. If you are in Santa Cruz or the general SF Bay Area and see this, please send me a PM
    [phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1275: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
  • Page 1 of 3
  • 33 posts
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1275: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1275: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable