To discuss the free lessons available on this site.
By kardob
#1808
The videos of three rhythyms on this site are fantastic, well done. I was wondering if you could produce a video for the lovely Soli rhythym as well?

once again thanks and well done.
By kardob
#1817
Thanks a lot that was great.
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By michi
#18175
argh wrote:Disclaimer - I am a Djembenoob, so I can't tell if the rhythms are legit, but the parts are demonstrated clearly enough.
The guy has bad technique, but the two accompaniment parts are correct. The technique he demonstrates is Mamady's solo original for Soli Rapide. The last two techniques are not quite correct—he's playing a tone where he should be playing a slap. It seems that's because he has a weak left slap; he means to play a slap, but it comes out as a tone.

When you watch his hands, you see the compulsive spreading of the fingers for the slap, and the compulsive closing of the fingers for the tone. The extreme movement ends up slowing him down, so he turns some slaps into tones on the faster techniques. (I also dislike the rotating left hand. That's a lot of extraneous movement that does nothing except waste energy and slow him down.)

Cheers,

Michi.
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By freefeet
#18184
His slaps are really weak. See what you mean about the left hand rotation before he uses it, should have been pulled up on that when he was learning.
By argh
#18639
Thanks for the technical advice.

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I 'compulsively' spread and close my fingers to create the different tones myself... I will have to look out for that in future!

In fact, it's something I had noticed, but I guess I saw it as a natural thing in a beginner. When I play a slap or tone sequence, I can actually produce each sound without forcing my fingers open or closed. But, when I mix them up together, the squeezing and spreading of my fingers seems to happen automatically. It's almost like that's the easiest thing to control consciously, even though I do recognise that it compromises both the sound and my comfort.
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By michi
#18649
argh wrote:In fact, it's something I had noticed, but I guess I saw it as a natural thing in a beginner. When I play a slap or tone sequence, I can actually produce each sound without forcing my fingers open or closed. But, when I mix them up together, the squeezing and spreading of my fingers seems to happen automatically. It's almost like that's the easiest thing to control consciously, even though I do recognise that it compromises both the sound and my comfort.
Instead of thinking closing and spreading, think of relaxing and tensioning. When the fingers are relaxed, they curve a little, so the impact area is the fleshy part of the palm at the base of the fingers and the fingertips, making a slap. If you add some tension to the fingers, they straighten a bit, so the middle finger joint is a little closer to the skin; the impact area is the middle part of the fingers (as well as the fleshy part of the palm and the finger tips), making a tone.

In other words, the only difference between a slap and a tone is whether or not the middle part of the fingers makes contact with the skin. Everything else is essentially the same.

You can play a perfect tone with spread fingers. What makes the tone isn't the spread fingers, but the contact area of the fingers. The story about closing and spreading is trainer wheels. While "closing" for tones is OK, "spreading" for slaps is not. Instead, teachers should probably talk about "straight and relaxed". That would make it less likely for beginners to think that spreading wide has anything to do with producing good slaps.

Cheers,

Michi.
By batz
#18674
michi wrote:Instead of thinking closing and spreading, think of relaxing and tensioning.
michi wrote:You can play a perfect tone with spread fingers. What makes the tone isn't the spread fingers, but the contact area of the fingers.
This is great advice, Michi. It clicked for me from your post on Feb 12. I had a terrible compulsive movement to make my tones, until I realized it wasn't necessary. So I went back and watched some closeups of Mamady Keita making tones and saw that there was no noticeable opening-closing of fingers. Even though I believe I've heard him say that the difference between the slap and tone technique is open vs. closed, in practice he clearly meant more of a relaxed vs. tension thing. Perhaps he teaches the tones differently for beginners.

Anyway, from watching the videos I just assumed it was more of a relaxed vs. tension thing that explains the sound, which I was able to get the hang of after a few days of practicing it. I'll sometimes unconsciously revert to the closing motion, but not as much anymore!

Also, I find tension to generally be a bad thing when playing djembe. I strive for a relaxed state of mind and body, along with proper posture. So the tension required to get a clean tone is very slight, just enough to make a more full contact with the hand, but not so much that you're tensing up your arms--from my experience.
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By michi
#18676
batz wrote:So I went back and watched some closeups of Mamady Keita making tones and saw that there was no noticeable opening-closing of fingers.
Most masters play open tones, with the fingers slightly spread, in very much the same position as for a slap. It's simple really: the less movement there is, the faster and more efficient the entire thing gets. Much of good djembe technique is simply about eliminating extraneous movement.
Even though I believe I've heard him say that the difference between the slap and tone technique is open vs. closed, in practice he clearly meant more of a relaxed vs. tension thing. Perhaps he teaches the tones differently for beginners.
Here is an excerpt from the Djembefola DVD, where Mamady explains that the closed fingers for the tone really are trainer wheels.



Cheers,

Michi.
By argh
#19548
Thanks for all the follow up info and vids.

My tone and slap are coming along nicely, with less compulsive opening and closing of fingers (although sometimes if I speed up enough, it comes back!)

The feel is quite different between the two, and when I play something really slowly, I can easily get tone and slap with spread fingers. Just a matter of keeping on practising to get up to speed I guess!

Thanks again.

Anthony