Discuss drumming technique here
By djembeweaver
#33077
Marc_M wrote:It's taken five years since I first posted in this blog to get the second slap down second nature - but with practice it is possible. It takes practice same as rudiment slap and tone. I started by positioning my hands closer to the rim, but now I only move fractionally closer to the middle of the djembe. There are in fact several places I can get the sound, but I prefer the closest position to slap and tone. I use it quite regularly to add to solos to add a greater variation to the melodic voice. So keep the faith if you are reading this. ;) :clap:
Awesome! Can you post a video of you playing along with any tips you have on how to improve the sound? I'd really appreciate it.

Jon
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By Marc_M
#33082
djembeweaver wrote:Can you post a video of you playing along with any tips you have on how to improve the sound? I'd really appreciate it.
Hey Jon -

I'll see what I can do. Not sure I'm the best teacher for this. In the meantime if you can't wait, I notice that Paddy Cassidy's Tansole video demonstrates the technique I use well - Video quality is super - you can see that he is using a very simple technique to get a higher tone in the slap without a lot of fuss and smoothly combines all the tones for a very melodic solo. You might want to check that out, too. I highly recommend it.

BTW. I will be in London, UK. during March. IM me if you happen to be in London in March.

Cheers.
By djembeweaver
#33086
Marc_M wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:Can you post a video of you playing along with any tips you have on how to improve the sound? I'd really appreciate it.
Hey Jon -

I'll see what I can do. Not sure I'm the best teacher for this. In the meantime if you can't wait, I notice that Paddy Cassidy's Tansole video demonstrates the technique I use well - Video quality is super - you can see that he is using a very simple technique to get a higher tone in the slap without a lot of fuss and smoothly combines all the tones for a very melodic solo. You might want to check that out, too. I highly recommend it.

BTW. I will be in London, UK. during March. IM me if you happen to be in London in March.

Cheers.
Yes I will, although I live in Sheffield and only go down south occasionally for a workshop (I might be doing some workshops in Milton Keynes soon though)

Here is my effort:

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toxiWJKRwCA[/video]

Have you got any tips for me?

Jon
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By Marc_M
#33090
Hey Jon - basically you've got it. That's how I first started after watching a Famadou video with Chicago Djembe project which I posted ages ago. I'd suggest moving your hand around to see if you can find the tone elsewhere on the drum. I find drumming close to the edge awkward over the long term, especially when needing to turn the hand that severely. However, I do use that method to get tonpalo for endings where I want a really clean sound.

You might try using less weight with your index finger on the drum and using the other three fingers to get the higher tone and trying to find a place to get the tonpalo sound closer to the middle of the drum. If you watch Paddy's video, you'll see he places his hand in different positions for different drums. I find I have to adjust my hand position depending on the size of head, tightness and thickness of skin. This is why I find most West African teacher don't teach it because it varies so much from person to person, drum to drum. Many will say you just have to find it yourself. Mohamed Diaby happened to be in the shop when I was buying a drum, and he had to feel out the djembe to find the position himself. It was interesting to watch him find the sweet spots - when he got it he gave a big smile.

Anyhow, your tone sounds good. Have fun.
By davidognomo
#33099
Hey, Jon. After listening to your tonpalos I guess you got the sound right, all the tips that you refer are the ones I would/could give. I notice that you play with your fingers very spread for slaps and tones, much like Laurent Camara or Fara Tolno. It gives me the impression that you may have an hyperextension on your finger knuckles. I have a friend like that, and he hurts himself exactly on the same spots where I can see blisters in your hands. Maybe that's why you find it so difficult to get to the tonpalo, since, as you say in your video and as I would say also, it requires more of a cup shape with the hand.
A friend of mine gave me a tip that changed my way of seeing things, in what concerns slaps. He was commenting my slaps, saying that they were more close to a tonpalo than to a regular slap and then he gave this tip: imagine a diagonal line from the tip of your index to the base of your pinkie. A normal slap comes more from the area below that line, as for the tonpalo from the area above. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone, but it did and still does to me.
One other tip I could add for the tonpalo - I don't remember if you mention this on your video - is that when I'm playing it (within my capabilities) I have a sensation as if I were pulling my hands, or the skin of the djembe in my direction, from the djembe to my body.

In your video you say that Mamady refers to this sound, this slap as tonpalo. Did you rear him calling it that? That's the ivoirian word, I think, don't know in wich dialect, and some people said here on the forum that in the wassolon region people call it lé.
By djembeweaver
#33102
Thanks guys. I've been having some success today using pretty much only my middle finger and ring finger (i.e. no index finger). I've also been experimenting with the same thing but gripping slightly with the finger tips to create a closed version of the same sound.

David - those aren't blisters...they're callouses! I hardly ever get sore hands these days, except cracked skin when my hands get dry.

Jon
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By Waraba
#33103
davidognomo wrote:In your video you say that Mamady refers to this sound, this slap as tonpalo. Did you rear him calling it that? That's the ivoirian word, I think, don't know in wich dialect, and some people said here on the forum that in the wassolon region people call it lé.
In a video of a workshop where Mamady is speaking French, he calls it le.
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By michi
#33105
I've also heard him calling it "lé", at workshops in San Diego and in Singapore. I've never heard him use the term "tonpalo".

Michi.
By davidognomo
#33111
djembeweaver wrote:David - those aren't blisters...they're callouses!
that's what I meant. Translation issues, you know.
By djembeweaver
#33141
Ah...I thought 'Tonpalo' was what someone on here said Mamady called it! That's chinese whispers in action! So Mamady calls it Lé eh?

Jon
By davidognomo
#33143
So it seems. Here in Portugal, I don't know why, or where it started or who started, people call it "the slap that cries". Nobody that I knew had ever heard of the term tonpalo, wich I read for the firat time here on the forum. Then I asked Baba Toure, during a workshop, just to be sure and he confirmed the name tonpalo for the "third slap".
By djembeweaver
#33195
davidognomo wrote:So it seems. Here in Portugal, I don't know why, or where it started or who started, people call it "the slap that cries". Nobody that I knew had ever heard of the term tonpalo, wich I read for the firat time here on the forum. Then I asked Baba Toure, during a workshop, just to be sure and he confirmed the name tonpalo for the "third slap".
Curiouser and curiouser...

So is the term 'Tonpalo' Ivorian? Can someone ask when they get the chance? Also if anyone runs into Mamady can they ask him where the term 'Lé' comes from?

Jon
By Onetreedrums
#33197
I have never met Mamady, but I am guessing that Le' is the sound you are trying to achieve with the slap in question or the onomatopoeia for it. I have been fortunate enough to get instruction from Djo Bi on the slap but didn't ask him about the name of it.
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By Waraba
#33212
Onetreedrums wrote:I have never met Mamady, but I am guessing that Le' is the sound you are trying to achieve with the slap in question or the onomatopoeia for it. I have been fortunate enough to get instruction from Djo Bi on the slap but didn't ask him about the name of it.
Djo Bi definitely calls it topalo (tonpalo?) as his latest album bears that title; but I also asked him how to do the tonpalo and he showed me. He was very gracious about it.

I say "showed" me, not that I "got" it.

He turned his fingers inward. Bearing edge was between the middle and ring fingers, with pointer & middle fingers stuck together, and ring and pinky stuck together. Like the Vulcan salute, sideways. When he did it, it worked. When I did it, he said, "Now you have to practice."
By djembeweaver
#33217
Waraba wrote:
Onetreedrums wrote:I have never met Mamady, but I am guessing that Le' is the sound you are trying to achieve with the slap in question or the onomatopoeia for it. I have been fortunate enough to get instruction from Djo Bi on the slap but didn't ask him about the name of it.
Djo Bi definitely calls it topalo (tonpalo?) as his latest album bears that title; but I also asked him how to do the tonpalo and he showed me. He was very gracious about it.

I say "showed" me, not that I "got" it.

He turned his fingers inward. Bearing edge was between the middle and ring fingers, with pointer & middle fingers stuck together, and ring and pinky stuck together. Like the Vulcan salute, sideways. When he did it, it worked. When I did it, he said, "Now you have to practice."
That's interesting. So are you saying that he hit the skin with his ring finger and little finger only, with the middle finger and index finger outside of the bearing edge? I'm having the best results using a similar method but using my ring finger and middle finger welded together...

Jon
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