Discuss drumming technique here
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By michi
Waraba wrote:What about knuckles, people? When you play slap, are your knuckles...

over and past the bearing edge,
on the bearing edge, or...
below the edge?
Over and past. For me, the fleshy part of the palm underneath the knuckles is just inside the playing surface. I have short hands, so I need to reach into the skin a bit more. People with bigger hands usually play with the knuckles on the bearing edge.

I don't think you would ever play with the knuckles below the bearing edge. If you did, only the fingers would make contact, which is considered bad technique by every teacher I ever had.


By bubudi
on a smaller djembe, or if you had really long fingers, you might need to have the knuckles below the bearing edge. normally, it's on the bearing edge, or if you have short fingers like michi, over the edge. many ivorians go slightly over the edge to get a dryer slap.
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By Waraba
Right on. (figuratively, I mean. I'm digging the posts).
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By archetypo
When I first got specific instruction on slap technique from Famoudou Konate, back in 2000, he positioned his knuckles over & past the bevel - so the bevel lines up in that crease on the palm just below the knuckles. I used that style of slap fairly successfully for several years, until I got some even more specific instruction from Amadou Kienou (Burkina Faso) - he suggests doing the slap with the crease at the base of the fingers lined up along the bevel, and my experience of this technique is that for me, it's more precise and consistent. However, Famoudou has smallish hands, and when I've watched him play, he does have a lot of variation in his technique depending on what sound he's going for. I've also noticed a particular style in Haute Guinea in some villages around Hamana, where the hand is moved further in and held in a slightly more cupped position, almost leaning towards a conga slap. I've seen some djembefolas use this mostly for emphasis (Amara Kante for one) but some seem to use it most of the time.
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By Waraba
Hey, today I held my forefinger and middle finger together on each hand, and suddenly, it started happening in a whole new way. I suddenly was able to transition way easier between tone and slap, rather cleanly, and the consistency between the left & right hands was way, way better.