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By komadich
#967
as Dugafola said, dont put tape on any part of the skin that vibrates - you'll get rid of the overtones but you will loose the sound depth. it is used to protect the skin only.

why don't you put on a short video so we can see and hear the sound?

but the reason for i'm writin the post is:
i think a newbie has to understand that you can make tones and slaps just with the same position of the hands (no finger or hand moving is required between the two). every movement is there just for adding a little bit of a collor to the sound.
By bubudi
#969
a lot of djembe players i have seen put electrical tape around their djembe and i made it a point to see how they placed it. in nearly every case they overlap it (going twice or 3 times around - e.g. once in each colour of the guinean flag) so that the edge of the topmost layer of tape extends a couple of milimetres into the vibrating area. it gives a dryer sound. you do have to be careful not to go too far onto the playing surface. if you kill all the overtones you will end up with a very unnatural sound, so you need to find the balance. some drums sound better with tape, some better without. it also has to do with personal preference. the good thing with the tape though is it's not permanent. you can always adjust the overlap or remove it altogether.
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By Dugafola
#996
bubudi wrote:a lot of djembe players i have seen put electrical tape around their djembe and i made it a point to see how they placed it. in nearly every case they overlap it (going twice or 3 times around - e.g. once in each colour of the guinean flag) so that the edge of the topmost layer of tape extends a couple of milimetres into the vibrating area. it gives a dryer sound. you do have to be careful not to go too far onto the playing surface. if you kill all the overtones you will end up with a very unnatural sound, so you need to find the balance. some drums sound better with tape, some better without. it also has to do with personal preference. the good thing with the tape though is it's not permanent. you can always adjust the overlap or remove it altogether.
did they tell you the reason why they put the tape there is to make a dryer sound? if you want a dry sound, dry shave your drum after you mount it. even dryer if it's a white skin.

i've seen more djembes with tape just on the part of the rim where a majority of the playing is. this is typically what i do in the summer months when it's hot and i sweat a lot. i've seen a couple of Famoudou's drums like that as well.

actually the only 'folas who i've seen constantly put tape on their drums are the dudes with super sweaty/moist/clammy hands and/or the dudes that sweat like a pig when they play.

another way to protect the skin from wearing quickly is to put a layer of super glue along the edge. one of my teachers does this.

i'll aks around when i'm in afrika.

too much overtone is def bad...a little is good and can be great in the hands of a Master. one teacher refers to that sound as "Nyang."
By kapitan
#1035
What is interesting is that even though Famoudou Konate is using tape on those drums in the youtube video I posted in this thread, his drums still ring. That is a very similar sounding ring that I have, and was expressing in this thread, and he is a master drummer, so it's just something that is a combination of wood, skin, and tuning. I am drifting more toward congas, as I am developing a preference for a warmer, richer tone... oops, did I just say that out loud. More and more I am running into guitarists that want to jam and I am having a difficult time meshing the sharp bright sounds and deep bass of my djembe with the warmth and subtlety of the acoustic guitar. The contrast, while characteristic of a djembe, just ain't working for me.
By jteskie
#1446
2 tips I was given by a Malean drummer when I asked him why all the drummers from Mali that I knew had less ring in their drums and always a nice dry slap:

1. More verticals - decrease the amount of space between knots when roping your top and bottom rings. He said you'll get more consistent tension this way, which helps ring and other undesirables in general.
2. sharper edge where skin wraps over top edge of drum - you don't want a thick flat top that the skin can vibrate over the top of - the thinner and more consistent the edge, the less vibration between skin and wood.

That's what he said, and the drums he made always sounded great even if the shell was so-so.
By Jeepz
#2745
James wrote:I'd like to discuss djembe technique here and am particularly interested in feedback or comments on our free lesson http://www.djembefola.com/sounds.htm

:)
The exercises at the bottom of this page return a 404 error. Have they been moved?

Also, is there any good youtube or other video that gives good clear example of Bass, Tone, Slap? I'm trying to hear (and see) the difference in the tone and slap, and to get a sense of what I should be hearing between the two. I get two distinct sounds out of mine, but I couldn't tell you if they are correct or not.

I also followed the 'ring' discussion in this thread, and I'm not sure if I have a similar ring that I need to get rid of (through developing technique - remember, I've been playing less than a week - and/or through tuning). I hear a slight ring, and sometimes it's worse, and I'm guessing that's from my technique. Other times I wonder if I need to tune up a bit. So, I'm looking for some clear examples/samples that aren't part of some African djembe jam :) but rather just clear technique and sound to get a sense of what I should be expecting. Does such a thing exist?
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By e2c
#2748
Just checking in quickly: I think it's much easier to learn to distinguish between tones and slaps by listening. (Keeping in mind that most online videos have very subpar sound.)

I know that for me, it's a bit easier to produce clean slaps by spreading my fingers just a touch. For tones, I tend to pull them closer together. But when you watch footage of master drummers, it's hard to see a difference as far as hand/finger position goes.

I'm sure others will have some suggestions for you re. instructional material, videos, etc. You might want to look around here a bit for older threads on the subject.
By Jeepz
#3015
I had heard it said here that a tighter (higher?) tuned drum will also help to distinguish tone and slap, and I just tuned mine up a very slight bit on Sunday and have definitely noticed an easier difference between the two strikes. I've also been messing around/playing/practicing a lot over the weekend (both wife and kid gone for 3 days!), paying lots of attention to drum, hand and finger positions to notice the difference in sound. I will say that practice and attention is a must in order to develop consistency. I notice that even a little bit of laziness in my hand/finger position makes the strikes less discernible. So, it'll take a great deal of playing and practice to develop muscle memory and make the strikes second nature.

And my hands hurt from all the playing I did over the weekend :) hurt in a good way.
By shorty
#3547
my teacher studied with mamady as well as larront cameron

he said that he does tone by having his hand relaxed and straight and at a 45 degree angle or so to the head of the drum abd he hits the rim only with thepad of the first joint of his fingers

slap is a whipping motion and the upper part of the fingers hit, and the angle of hand to drum is parallel, the hand is flat and parallel to the head when it hits and bounces off

as opposed to the 45 or less angle of the tone

he says to let grtavity do as much as the work as possible and stay relaxed.
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By Beerfola
#3550
Shorty,
Every Master drummer will have a preferred technique that they use when providing instruction. I would recommend following the instructions of your teacher. However, you can learn new ways of doing things from all of your teachers. Take what works for you and commit it to memory. But try to respect the teacher, whoever it is, while you are playing with them and at least try to utilize their technique.
Personally, I think all of that shifting from straight to 45 degrees to relaxed to firm and rim shot and inner rim will adversely effect your drumming. Especially when you speed up. Most importantly, relax. Attempt to vary your position as little as possible while maintaining the integrity of the sound. It really helps to think about and visualize the sound that you are trying to make and surprisingly that is usually the sound that comes out. It works for me most of the time anyway.
By shorty
#3565
Thank you Beerfola

what method/technique have you found that best suits you? (if you were to describe it)

what parts of the fingers/hands hit what part of the drum?

what angles

and what do you visualize or feel when it comes to the energy of the arms and hands.

peace

i will keep working at it.

I love the beauty of each individual note that is heard when the drum is played by a master. It oculd just be a single note, but it is lovely.
By cyberfola
#3986
My latest discoveries on djembe/dun dun technique have been from a drum set player named Jojo Mayer(Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer). He uses sticks but the concepts work great for hand players… just youtube giovani hidalgo and you will see what I mean. They both emphasize the bouncing ball technique. That is to re-use some of the energy from striking the skin to return your hand to the initial playing position. The angle and height of the djembe between your legs is crucial! I’ve been experimenting and it seems that an angle that is parallel to my forearm but slightly lower works for me. That means if my seat is too low or too high it’s harder to get the bounce right. It also means that if the djembe I’m playing is too short or too tall the bounce is affected. It also means that a well adjusted strap effects bounce/speed. It is possible to compensate by moving my elbow lower or higher but anything away from a comfortable ergonomic position is not advised. Also a tighter djembe will return more energy into my hands in turn using less energy to play…
When you find the sweet spot…you’ll know….. “We Bouncin’ Now!”

Ps. Start to pay attention to the angle of your teachers forearm in relation to the drum head.
Pps. Experiment with the angle and height of your djembe.

I’m still learning tone and slap and I’ve been playing for 9 years… It’s kind of crazE’ to think about the amount of patients I have for this instrument. It’s been the most rewarding Hobby. I wish this page was around when I first started…

Thanks a million!
#4273
Image

When you perform a slap, the hands pads just below the fingers strike the rim and the finger tips strike the head, correct? Should they strike at exactly the same time, or should the pads of the hand hit the rim just before the finger tips hit the head to aid in the whipping motion?

Working on my slaps,
Ryan