Tell us a bit about yourself. What you're into and what dreams are etc...
By carrolllewis
I have the privilege of taking djembe lessons from a wonderful Senegambian master known as Paco, in Wilmington, Delaware. I found this website while I was struggling with the slap sound, and with sore hands, and found advice here that helped me finally get it, and heal my hands. For this, I'm very grateful.

I also have had the privilege of taking Middle Eastern doumbek lessons from a terrific Lebanese master, Joe Tayoune, in Philadelphia and Media, Pennsylvania. I have fun playing the Middle Eastern rhythms on my djembe, too!

Paco goes slowly with his students, because he wants us to master bass, tone, and slap, so he hasn't taught us much in the way of African rhythms yet. He got us started on one that he spells Mengane, but might also be known as Mendiani or Mendjani? I'm hoping to find some recordings of it, to help me along in my practicing, to learn more west African rhythms, to train my ear to hear and feel all the cross-rhythms, and hopefully pick up some tips on soloing.

Regards, Robin
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By Michel
Hi Robin! Welcome to this forum.

A good thing that your teacher is starting with technique, which is very important... but in the meanwhile you have to have the fun of playing the beautiful rhythms. Luckily he started with a great one, mendiani probably. In the 'rhythm of the month' section you'll find lots of info on this one, with backgrounds and everything. Enjoy!

As far as info given by teachers: my experience is that different teachers tell different things about rhythms and culture. Part of it can be true, part of it can be made up by the people they got the info from, in a culture like this you never know for sure. Someone from the Gambia (where english is spoken) mendiani can be spelled as mengane, for example...

Have fun!