- Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:19 pm
I took piano for a couple of years and the drum rudiments you are talking about remind me of the scales I used to practice all the time. It was a way of training my hands to just 'know' certain combinations and movements, depending on what key you are in.
Your comment about the role of dundun caught my eye. Yes, indeed, the dunduns generally play fixed patterns. There is often one or two djembes also playing fixed patterns. In Mali, there might be as many as 5 drums playing patterns and one soloist. However, with Malian groups, the solo gets passed around, often. (Sort of like a jazz group, I think, where each instrument gets their turn.) Some dundun are more for soloing. The Jeli dundun, for example, is a solo instrument. What is amazing about a full compliment of west african drums is that they are all playing completely different patterns, often with bells, which means you have upwards of 8 rhythm patterns creating an incredibly complex piece of music, with a soloist going on top of it.
You talked about the bass drum being able to go independently from the other drums in a kit. I play what is called ballet style dundun, which means I am playing a kenkeni and a dununba together. For the vast majority of the pieces I play, the kenkeni acts as the time keeper. I have never yet learned to have one hand act independent of the other.... so I have to learn the whole pattern as a single thing, with the right and left hand parts intertwining. I know that is NOT how the Malians do it. They learn the right hand and left hand independantly. Is there some exercise to help me learn to do this?
Thanks for sharing the video!