Discuss drumming technique here
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By e2c
#10142
bops wrote:What it boils down to is, when we play jembe, we're not just playing for ourselves. We're playing for others. The idea is to make people happy, in the simplest of terms. Whether it's dancers, the audience, your band-mates, or other people in your drum circle, playing jembe is about connecting with people.

A good jembefola strikes up a rapport with their audience. It's all part of the game. Over the years, I've found that an audience's perception of a jembe player's ability level is highly dependent on visual cues. Not just outside of Africa, but also in Africa. People want you to engage them while you play. Make eye contact, smile, whatever, but don't just roll your eyes back in your head and purse your lips. People are going to get bored pretty quickly.
You got it, in the 1st graph especially.

Although I have to say that I think a lot of people overdo the showmanship aspect when they're soloing. (For my taste, anyway. But I guess I'm more oriented to the ensemble/backup aspect of things... and I'm certainly far from being able to pull off a credible djembe solo onstage.)

I do feel that anyone who's onstage has a responsibility toward the audience, no matter what kind of music they're playing.
If it detracts from the performance, don't do it!
Exactly!
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By Rhythm House Drums
#10146
How would you like to see this in a performance... haha....

I had to. Just for myself.. and then I though you guys would get a kick out of it. I honestly am not trying for any of these faces... shit.. now I know why everyone is smiling at me when I play in public. haha... I feel relaxed... just... um, into it?

videos/video-doesn-lie-t1615.html

Don't be too harsh... but I welcome all comments, suggestions!
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By Dugafola
#10148
bops wrote:What it boils down to is, when we play jembe, we're not just playing for ourselves. We're playing for others. The idea is to make people happy, in the simplest of terms. Whether it's dancers, the audience, your band-mates, or other people in your drum circle, playing jembe is about connecting with people.
more often times than not, if you're performing and there are dancing girls on the stage, you can be doing your Oh oh oh Face all night long and it wouldn't matter.

i get fired up when my buddies are really going for it, if they make some stupid faces...no biggie for me.

i do have one buddy that looks like he's going to eat your first born when he solos. scary. :o
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By michi
#10150
Look, the moustache is gone!
33.jpg
No moustache!
33.jpg (1.67 KiB) Viewed 1805 times
Michi ;)
By bubudi
#10164
Nodrog wrote:I think it would look a bit strange if a musician, especially a drummer was getting really into it and then found they had a constant smile on their face.
yea i'd agree you'd look pretty cheesy doing that, and i think that makes a good case for putting some honesty into your performance. but that's not what we're talking about here.

it'd also be pretty autistic (not to mention boring) if you had a blank look on your face the whole time, and i think that's reason enough to be aware of your presentation on stage.
Nodrog wrote:I don't know enough to name examples but I can think of many videos on this site where drummers, balafola , kora players, etc, etc, have facial expressions which are a reflection of the effort and feel they are putting into playing their instrument. I can't see anyone objecting to that really.
i think some of the expressions that soloists do (esp. guitarists & brasswind players) really add to their performance, but some of the faces i've seen some djembe players do (and a lot of other amateur musicians as well) look completely spastic! bolokada, bangourake, kargus, zoumana, harouna dembele and sega cisse would have to be among the most interesting performers to watch. they smile a lot, they vary their expressions and body language quite a bit and they often make what they do look easy. i've never seen those guys pull a face that looks like they have paralysis on one side of their face :lol:
bops wrote:playing jembe is about connecting with people.
speak the truth, brother!
bops wrote:But don't tense up and contract muscles in your head, neck or shoulders, it's not good for your playing.
yea that sounds like a recipe for injury.
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By James
#10218
I've seen some shocking footage of myself...
The Kid's seen it too... me no likely on myself...

Saw the lead soloist of Ballet Djoliba a few years ago and he was mouthing every thing he played, while stick his djembe right in Mamady's face... He seemed to be doing intentionally, where as I look like I've had my drink spiked...

Working on it though...

I'm very interested in why we do it though? What's the reason for it...
By Paul
#10238
I nearly bust myself laughing playing with james,,, dont stop...

Anyone I see mouthing rhythms looks tense to me unless they do it on purpose... I remember hearing of a player called the fat man in Gambia (africans are so honest with nicknames) ans you could nearly hear him going ngrangranang with clenched teeth over the sound of the group... As my teacher said he goes straight to the toilet after a gig to piss blood...
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By the kid
#10329
Yea James you think you can tame that djembe love beast? :lol:

People used to tell me to loose the grimace and smile a bit but i was like 'work is goin on here'. That was 2 years ago

Now a days i'm pretty smooth on the face front. I like to play totally relaxed. Its good to talk to your friends while drumming and encourage them to try to talk while playing. Then there is singing when you play. you need to practice this and be totally relaxed. At that stage you can choose to pull some faces or not. Again i like to be natural. It looks daft when people try to smile all the time. people tell me these days i have a good 'stage presence'. I just enjoy playing with others and love listening to the music we create. If it sounds good i dance around and mess with the crowd. If its sloppy i'll be like come on guys. Pick it up.