Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc

How do you position your bell?

Bell mouth towards me
2
22%
Bell mouth away from me
1
11%
Bell mouth sideways
6
67%
Bell mouth down (freely hanging bell)
No votes
0%
Handheld bell
No votes
0%
User avatar
By korman
#36787
I am trying to increase the speed of my dunun playing, but the bell is the element that holds me back. I use iron rebar rods (~4mm diameter) as strikers. I have my bell in the middle of the drum, wedged in between ropes, mouth facing towards me. What I don't like about this setup is that edges of my bells are quite sharp and I could eventually damage the rope, but having the bell hang freely is inconvenient when playing on a stand (could work if I had the drum on a shoulder strap though).

I mainly use the wrist movement when playing the bell with striker. Since the striker is so much smaller than drumstick, I have not found a way to use ring finger and pinky, and obviously using the forearm would be too loud. Maybe any of you have some technique suggestions for faster playing?

Do any of you use this Louis Cesar Ewande's double stroke technique?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-XGTRr5v2U
I guess it's not traditional, but with a lot of work it could be brought to higher speed than any single stroke technique. The downside is - at least on my bells - the edge sounds quite different and so the pattern will be accented in a non-traditional way.
By Djembe04
#36789
-To attach the bell I recommend a bungee cord (rope or rubber).
Nice, secure and it damps the shrill bells.
-For your speed, I have one advice: practice makes perfect.
-Personally I'm not a big fan of the technique Ewande uses.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#36794
I practiced to play as relaxed from my wrist as possible. It comes with the years. Be careful not to force the right technique in little time. I know two people I used to play with in bands who tried too hard and had to stop drumming altogether because due to their forced training they had chronic pain in their wrist. Personally, I do not have any ambition to differntiate different sounds on the bells. I like the music the way it used to be played...
User avatar
By korman
#36801
At which speed (if any) is it acceptable to start simplifying bell patterns? Like move from cinquillo to tresillo or from double offbeat to single offbeat?
For example the dancers want Djole at 150bpm (or 160preferably), and I cannot do the double offbeat kenkeni bell at that speed anymore, but if I move the bell to downbeat (like on makru) it is playable still.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#36802
korman wrote:At which speed (if any) is it acceptable to start simplifying bell patterns?
I think there is no objective answer to that other than at whatever speed it stops to sound good you should simplify.
korman wrote:I cannot do the double offbeat kenkeni bell at that speed anymore
Originally they don't play the bell on the kensedeni in Hamana (well, doube offbeat patterns neither), so why not skip the bell altogether? Or just change the whole pattern to |..xx|..x.| or just play a single offbeat bell and a double offbeat on the skin or...
User avatar
By korman
#36803
korman wrote:I cannot do the double offbeat kenkeni bell at that speed anymore
Originally they don't play the bell on the kensedeni in Hamana (well, doube offbeat patterns neither), so why not skip the bell altogether? Or just change the whole pattern to |..xx|..x.| or just play a single offbeat bell and a double offbeat on the skin or...[/quote]

It was just an example. But, well, Djole is not a Hamana rhythm anyway, and it's popular with dancers, who want it fast. If I can get enough people, we play with three horizontal dunun, MK&FK style. I like it when three bells are sounding together. If, say, only 3 people can come, then one will take vertical dunun set, because just one horizontal dunun with a bell will sound kinda sparse.