Discuss drumming technique here
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By Onilu.BR
#26588
Hello guys! As a lot of people here, i am studying djembe and sometimes i get confused about the correct hand position on tones and slaps. Mostly on slaps, some teachers say that the slaps and tones are on the same position, that the only difference is the hand relaxed on slaps, and others teachers change the position of the hand on the slap, like in these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpcOc7Noa6Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdr36_pXutU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldzTFl0JNao

What do you think about them changing the hand position to get the slaps? I work my slaps and tones on the same area of the skin!!!
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By michi
#26589
Onilu.BR wrote:Hello guys! As a lot of people here, i am studying djembe and sometimes i get confused about the correct hand position on tones and slaps. Mostly on slaps, some teachers say that the slaps and tones are on the same position, that the only difference is the hand relaxed on slaps, and others teachers change the position of the hand on the slap, like in these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpcOc7Noa6Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdr36_pXutU
I can't say I like his technique. For the tones, he is hitting with no more than two thirds of the length of his fingers. Not good for his finger joints, I would say. Also, I do not like the amount of extraneous movement between tones and slaps. It takes more energy to do that, and it must slow him down a little.
Not fond of that either, again because of the extraneous movement.
What do you think about them changing the hand position to get the slaps? I work my slaps and tones on the same area of the skin!!!
Many players do this. I've seen it a lot in Ghana, in particular. It shows that there is no one true and correct way of doing it: clearly, people who have what I would call less than ideal technique can still be phenomenally good players. But, I suspect, that with a little more training earlier on and getting more economical technique, they might be even better and could play with a little less effort.

Here is a short clip from "Djembefola" with Mamady doing a demonstration. Note that as little as possible moves, giving a very efficient playing style. (Famoudou's technique is very similar.)

I'd recommend to follow Mamady's advice, at least for the first few years: play tone and slap in exactly the same place, even if you find you get a crisper slap or darker tone by changing hand position. It will serve you well in the long run. Once you have your basic technique sorted out, there is still plenty of time to experiment with other sounds you can get by changing hand position ever so slightly.

Cheers,

Michi.
By DeTerminator
#26627
I've been keeping my tones and slaps in the same location on my bougarabou. It's easier that way, and it seems like a good way to go. I detect a difference in tone between the two, especially when I alternate between the two nonstop repeatedly, but I think that the cowhide with hair is giving me something else tonally than what the djembe players are getting. I realize that the boug may best use a different technique for slaps than the djembe, and I need to take a closer look at that. Perhaps a more experienced and informed forum member can help out here, although a few have mentioned that the conga slaps may be more appropriate on the bougarabou. I do find that using the area where my fingers meet the palm as a good location for a reference point on the rim.