To discuss the free lessons available on this site.
By johnc
#1353
I started on a djembe two weeks ago after i organised a drumming incursion at my school to support my art programme on African culture. The kids loved and i only had a quick go but it was true love immediately.

So now i want to run a programme for the kids which means ive gotta learn. ive been workin hard and the mrs (piano player) is impressed :shock: :D

Im a few weeks away from taking advantage of the Kuku rythms as im still working on some basic patterns but the way the video is set to repeat and the notation is FANTASTIC and ive come away confident rather than hesitant and extreamly pleased that i will have an African rythem to learn.

Ive spent quite a bit of time searching online for quality instruction ...now i can spend more time playing :djembe: I will have an in person teacher but they are located a 90 minute drive away so that part is still in planning...but in the mean time :arrow:


big big thanks


ps. where does Kuku come from? :oops: Forget that...i just went back and read the history
By johnc
#1400
Hi James

the call dor the Kuku and Diansa are the same and both begin with a flam (?)

please discuss!

cheers
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By James
#1406
HI John,

I'm not sure what you're asking.

Yes they both start with a flam. In fact the call is a common 4/4 call. A lot of rhythms have the same or similar calls.

As far as I know the call may not have even existed before the ballets. The drums would come in one at a time (correct me if I'm wrong).

I'm sure there are exceptions as some rhythms appear to have particular calls such and dundunba rhythms.

The call marks the time (or speed at which is is played) and can be used to differentiate the feel of a rhythm.
By johnc
#1408
thanks James


you answered the quiz...i know nothing about this from a musical/traditional point so all info helps.

cheers
By johnc
#1436
have just started playing djembe 1 over djembe 2 part and vice versa from the video. The plug in speakers for the PC arnt too bad for this.

really good learning tool. Also great for realising as mentioned elswhere that not filling all 16 notes (?) allows for another to fill in that space with the accompanying rhythm'
By jteskie
#1447
Kuku is not a traditional village rhythm - it was created by the ballet, so the call was created by the ballet also. Just FYI. Kuku is interesting because as former members of the ballet keep moving to the United States or Europe we keep learning more parts they (ballet members) have created. I've been taught like 8 different parts to Kuku now (I wish I had recorded them so I could remember), and they keep getting more and more funky and cool.
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By Dugafola
#1451
i just thought Kuku was a rhythm created for dance class warmup??? 8)

Kuku is very much a traditional village rhythm. Sure it has evolved over time from when the Ballets started to perform it onstage...most popular rhythms have. Dunun and djembe parts get created or modified depending on the musicians in the ensemble. this is nothing new. for example, see how many different versions of Tiriba you can find. breaks/signals/calls are definitely a product of the ballet.

for reference, you can check out recorded works by famoudou, mamady, baba toure, compagnie dakan and adama drame to name a few...or ask anyone from the forest region in guinea or the denguele (odiennne) region of ivory coast.

i can see why someone might think that Kuku is a ballet rhythm. for some reason, it was one of the first dances to get brought into the Ballet. Hence it's exposure to the world through countless tours all over.
By jteskie
#1458
oops I meant "not JUST a village rhythm" - yes you are right.
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By e2c
#1464
jteskie wrote:oops I meant "not JUST a village rhythm" - yes you are right.
I'm confused now, as you said above that
it was created by the ballet, so the call was created by the ballet also.
So clearly, you were intending to say that it is not a traditional rhythm. That makes very little sense to me.

Edited to add: I've got Mamady Keita's A Life for the Djembe here in front of me - he says that
Traditional ethnic group: Manian (Forest Guinea and Ivory Coast

today, Kuku is a popular rhythm played at all kinds of festivals... [big snip] ... Originally, Kuku was played when women came back from fishing. They would take their fishing tools (e.g., the net) and dance.

...Even though this region is not part of [Malinke] territory, it has been inhabited by Malinke for centuries.
By bubudi
#1466
konianke people of guinea forest area and maoka people of ivory coast are the ethnic groups who claim to be the origin of kuku.

it's true that some rhythms were created by the ballets like 'route de niger', 'gbassi kolo', 'ligueba', 'tomankan', 'kanin', 'sewa' and 'telefone'.

there are definitely ballet versions of rhythms that are quite changed from the original. in the case of kuku, several masters have said that dunun were not originally used for this rhythm. it's possible that a krin (slit drum) was originally involved in the rhythm as is common in the forest area, but certainly a basse-djembe and planibala (three-headed drum).

i particularly like baba toure's version (4th track on his cd 'daakan') for the ivorian kuku.
famoudou's version is about as traditional as it gets with the addition of dunun. his dunun and first djembe patterns are the most authentic (see his book and accompanying cd). several masters have said the version mamady teaches is a more modern version.

don't let kuku's ubiquitous use in dance classes and drum circles fool you into thinking it's an easy rhythm. the proper swing of kuku is not easy to achieve. i have seen very few non-africans who actually swing it properly. that goes for the two traditional djembe parts as well as the dununba part. i've heard a couple of weird versions of kuku that sound nothing like the original. with the more common conakry version, i have learned 8 accompaniments. the rule that applies here is that one should know what the main accompaniments are and only play the other parts when there are a sufficient number of drums holding the main ones.
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By e2c
#1470
don't let kuku's ubiquitous use in dance classes and drum circles fool you into thinking it's an easy rhythm. the proper swing of kuku is not easy to achieve.
I'm not yet familiar with Famoudou's version (so much to learn!), but agree completely on Kuku being a challenge.

IIRC, two of the parts in Mamady's book are his own, while the rest are traditional.
By bubudi
#1473
what i was specifically referring to were the 2 main accompaniments (and dununba). mamady's version is a bit more modern. those accompaniments in their original form can be learned on famoudou's book and accompanying cd.
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By Dugafola
#1475
bubudi wrote:what i was specifically referring to were the 2 main accompaniments (and dununba). mamady's version is a bit more modern. those accompaniments in their original form can be learned on famoudou's book and accompanying cd.
mamady's version on Wassolon is definitely not modern. his arrangement on Sila Laka and in his book are 'modern' as bubud said. he also teaches kuku maoka and that is an older arrangement for sure with less dunuba and more sangban.

the very last scene of Djembefola when he's raging by the fire in Balandougou is also Kuku.