Discuss drumming technique here
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By James
#1220
Something that's been bothering me for a while:

I play my slaps very in on the top of the drum.... not overly so or too much, or so I believe...

I mirror my right and my left hands, so that they are perfectly symetrical froma line down the centre of the drum. I can't actually play a slap flam with my hands in normal slap position because the second hand to come down slaps the finger tips of the first hand.

I currently compensate is that I usuallly place the second hand more down and to the side for a slap than I would normally do... The result of this is that I have a feeling my second slap isn't as great as it could be.

If I play
Code: Select all
FtFt
(where F is a slap flam and t is a tone) repeatedly it's like I'm moving left to right over the drum, like a dance. It's fun and all, but I'm just wondering....

Is this normal or am I weird? :dance:
User avatar
By the kid
#1224
yea most definatly...hehe

your hands shouldn't be close enough for the fingers to hit each other

i dont know what accounts for the correct position,..
but if their close enough to be touching(left and right) during flams, your in danger of hurting your fingers or thumbs while playin fast with rhythyms or solos

i think a good position is..
place hands on drum, (thumbs at right(ish) angle to fingers)
point fingers roughly towards center of djembe
project a line from your elbow through your hands to the center of the drum
now your two hands should strike at reasonable distance a part

tone and slap in same possition and flam away to your hearts content
flam away flam away flam away

i figure this technique involves least internal movement of ligaments
your fingers are being pulled by ligaments and muscle all along your arm

so all being straight is most efficient right?? well i recon..

for a novice a FLAM is when 2 hands strike the drum simultanisly
not quite the same time, there should be milliseconds between the hits
easy way to do it is lift 2 hands over drum, one higher than the other and then strike down 2 hands . both will hit drum at slightly different times

you can flam with tone, slaps and bass - exteriment.. left hand lower.. then.. right hand lower ..

this is powerful when practiced a lot and it makes more noise than a regular tone or slap. Flams are used in plenty of calls as well as rhythyms and solos
By bubudi
#1230
i tend to agree. the masters in mali and guinea that have a clean sound tend to play the tones and slaps in the same hand position. in the video 'mogobalu', mamady keita instructs that one's hands should not migrate during play (obviously playing the bass note and some advanced sounds are an exception).

another thing (and this is also on the mogobalu vid) is that at some point in your playing you'll reach a level where you don't need to think 'open fingers', 'close fingers'. at first you'll just naturally play the notes on demand without thinking about technique. later on you'll be able to produce slaps with closed fingers or tones with open fingers (harder). once that happens without thinking, you'll be able to achieve high speeds. opening/closing your fingers does take away a bit of speed. but more so the migration of your hands up/down.

some masters from ivory coast and senegal go slightly inwards on their slaps. it's possible to get a clean sound that way but it will be a different sound to the usual slap position. if that sound is your preference then go for it, but consider there might be other reasons why you prefer inward slaps. many people find early on that it's easier to get a higher note that way, so they adopt that instead of persisting with the correct technique which is still a work in progress. it usually takes people a year of playing 3-4 times a week to develop their technique to a good level, and even then you can work on your cleanliness of sound all your life. so be patient and you'll get there...

another reason that sometimes accounts for these variations in technique (and also with the problems you describe) is hand size. if you have long fingers you definitely shouldn't be playing your standard slaps more inwards. a bigger hand needs a bigger drum head while a smaller hand usually plays more easily on a smaller drum.
By kawa
#19690
I don't know if I get your description right, so disregard this if I am mistaken :

Maybe your hands should be further away one from the other right from the get go.

Is your left wrist inclined on the left, and your right one on the right ? If this is the case, try to get your hands more in alignment with your arm.

You could also try to get your hands off the skin just after you hit it.

Hope it helps.

Kawa
http://kawatvinternational.wordpress.com/
http://kawatv.wordpress.com/
By davidognomo
#19804
hi

this is an old thread, brought back to life by kawa, so I don't know if I'll get an answer.

I remember when I had my first lesson my teacher telling me that the flam was played with left hand first. When I did it with the right first, she (Conny Kadia - TTM Portugal) said it was ok, that it wasn't a big deal to do it the other way.
This was for the common binary rhythms call (tT.tt.t.tt.sss - tT is the tone flam)
I imagine that flams are played both ways, depending on the phrase where they're in.

Or does anyone on this forum has anything to share about this matter?
User avatar
By michi
#19825
davidognomo wrote:I remember when I had my first lesson my teacher telling me that the flam was played with left hand first. When I did it with the right first, she (Conny Kadia - TTM Portugal) said it was ok, that it wasn't a big deal to do it the other way.
This was for the common binary rhythms call (tT.tt.t.tt.sss - tT is the tone flam)
You can play that flam leading right or leading left. It really doesn't matter. Do what you are more comfortable with. As a rule, if you play a flam leading right, you should play the next note on the left, and vice versa. That gives you a fraction more time to play the note that follows because you play it with the hand that was least-recently used.
I imagine that flams are played both ways, depending on the phrase where they're in.
Depending on where you are in a phrase, you play the flam leading left or leading right, depending on where you left off and how much time you have to get the flam in.

See this thread for an example of a technique where you must play flams alternating leading left and leading right, otherwise you run out of time.

Cheers,

Michi.
By davidognomo
#19840
hey, michi

thanks a lot once again for your willingness in answering these somehow beginner's doubts.

I know that technique. Actually, I had already seen that video of yours before joining djembefola.com.

There's one thing about that technique (and I mean just the tsStsSts - I hope you understand this pseudo notation). There are a lot of good, experienced and respected djembefolas that tend to turn this particular phrase into a mere tsstssts, you know, turning the slap flam into two slaps, only played really fast. That's one of the specific things (among many others, of course, that I really appreciate in Mamady): his cleanliness in the flams, never letting them turn into two fast followed slaps.

thanks again

David