Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc
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By Marc_M
#1740
For many of us, just getting to the consistent slap and tone is a great accomplishment. Listening to great djembefolas you can clearly hear a range of slap tones.

For an example listen to a clip of Mamady Keita at the Rhythm Traders site- http://www.africanrhythmtraders.com/html/djembecds.html

Clip from Mamady Keita: COMPLETE "Solo Instructional Series" - Diansa
http://www.africanrhythmtraders.com/sou ... dsolo1.mp3

Just curious how far along players are to creating this level of control.

I found an article on the web related to measuring the acoustic properties of a djembe and a reference to the two slap sounds.

http://www.kettering.edu/acad/scimath/p ... cts-s.html
Scroll to: Acoustical Study of the Djembe (African Hand Drum), Wes Haveman (AP/EE '02)

Happy slapping.

M.
Last edited by Marc_M on Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:21 am, edited 6 times in total.
User avatar
By e2c
#1741
Just a quick personal take: i've come to djembe/doundoun playing from a background in Arabic-style hand percussion (darbuka and frame drums). My thought is that natural skin heads are able to produce an incredible array of sounds, and that developing the ability to do that takes time, experimentation and an understanding that the skins are very sensitive to touch... I honestly don't believe that only "master drummers" are capable of these tonal variations.

But figure this in: frame drums and darbuka are all played so that the drum heads are in a more or less vertical position. (Though they can be held between the knees, of course!) Having the drum upright that way, it's not hard to start noticing that a variety of sounds can be created - when the drum is being held between the knees, that's not nearly as obvious or apparent.

There are a lot of different techniques out there for percussion playing - and I can't help wondering if it might help a lot of us who are studying djembe (etc.) to delve a bit into some of these things. I can honestly say that my playing on darbuka and frame drums has gotten much better since I started studying (and practicing) djembe.

Hope this is helpful ... :D
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By Dugafola
#1744
not sure if the vote counter is working, but i answered "more than 2 slaps consistently"

regular slap, muff slap, cup slap are the most consistent. i'm working on my 'third slap' or 'wet slap' or 'kpanlogo slap' as i've heard it called.
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By bops
#1745
Dugafola wrote:regular slap, muff slap, cup slap are the most consistent. i'm working on my 'third slap' or 'wet slap' or 'kpanlogo slap' as i've heard it called.
Can you describe what you mean by cup slap and third/wet/kpanlogo slap? How about a sound or video clip?
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By e2c
#1746
I'm not Dugafola (obviously! ;)), but I'll take a stab at "cup slap" - holding the hand slightly cupped, so that there's a bit of air there. Used a lot in frame drumming. The more the hand is cupped, the more explosive the sound. Basically, the center of the palm is slightly above the drum head... easier to show someone than to explain in words!

IIRC (and I may be completely wrong about this!), it's also a conga stroke (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlAO2YoliiM - nice camera angle on the drummer's hands).

Here's a nice video on basic conga strokes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XLqe4eBSSk
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By Dugafola
#1747
bops wrote:
Dugafola wrote:regular slap, muff slap, cup slap are the most consistent. i'm working on my 'third slap' or 'wet slap' or 'kpanlogo slap' as i've heard it called.
Can you describe what you mean by cup slap and third/wet/kpanlogo slap? How about a sound or video clip?
the cup slap i've sorta developed is not exactly like a conga slap...but more like the cup/press slap you can see soungalo do in that clip you posted. the sound is mostly coming from the middle, ring and pinky finger doing a cuppish then press motion on the skin.

you can hear the wet slap played on pretty much every single one of Mamady's albums. check out the dununbe on Hamanah. about half way through he throws some in there. fode bangoura also uses it effectively although i can't remember how much he uses it if any on his disc Fakoly 1.
User avatar
By e2c
#1748
I guess I should add that I do a lot of different variations of that "cup slap" for frame drum and darbuka (dumbek), am only just starting to figure out how to use it - and do it consistently, to where I'm happy with it - on djembe. (have mainly been focusing on learning rhythms...)

It took a while for me to be able to do this well on other drums, so it *will* feel more natural on djembe as time goes on and I keep practicing...

Dugafola, am wondering if you can think of a few more specific examples of the "wet" slap? (From CDs, etc.)
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By bops
#1751
Dugafola wrote:the cup slap i've sorta developed is not exactly like a conga slap...but more like the cup/press slap you can see soungalo do in that clip you posted. the sound is mostly coming from the middle, ring and pinky finger doing a cuppish then press motion on the skin.

you can hear the wet slap played on pretty much every single one of Mamady's albums. check out the dununbe on Hamanah. about half way through he throws some in there. fode bangoura also uses it effectively although i can't remember how much he uses it if any on his disc Fakoly 1.
Ok, I would have called it Mali-style :wink: But one being open and the other closed or pressed, right? ... I started adopting this technique after I went to Bamako. I played a more open slap that I learned from my Senegalese and Guinean teachers for a long time, but I started to like the POP of the Mali slap. It gives a higher and narrower harmonic (to my ear). I've been working on it hardcore for about 7 or 8 months, and I'd say it's got a nice crack to it by now.

Fode definitely uses that technique a few times on Fakoly 1... I think in Jole. I like the way he (and especially Mamady) work the two techniques into a phrase, adding another dynamic element. I haven't gotten to the point where I can switch back and forth like that in a single phrase. I'll have another listen to that Jole and get back to you...
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By Dugafola
#1753
bops wrote: Fode definitely uses that technique a few times on Fakoly 1... I think in Jole. I like the way he (and especially Mamady) work the two techniques into a phrase, adding another dynamic element. I haven't gotten to the point where I can switch back and forth like that in a single phrase. I'll have another listen to that Jole and get back to you...
yea man...it's all about the placement of that slap. mamady kills me when he starts focking around with that. fode too...he doesn't use it often, but mighty effective. i got some footage of fode rockin a dununba in Kissoso...i'll try to post something soon. still gotsa figure out this new confuser i got.
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By Marc_M
#1754
e2c wrote:Also, Marc, I'm wondering what you mean by a "second slap tone"? Are you talking about higher-pitched/lower-pitched sounds, or something else? (Seriously - I'm feeling a bit confused! ;))

I am referring to a higher pitched slap sound that one can definitely hear in the Diansa link in the original post. The higher slap is used somewhat like an accent but also produces another tone from which one can produce a melodic line. If anyone is unsure what I am referring to, I suggest listening to the clip.

I learned the cupping technique to produce slaps on the kpanlogo, but I don't use it on the djembe. I produce the tone by slapping a little more toward the rim of the djembe. Anyone else experimenting with this?

Sorry about the survey. I tried playing with various settings but I can't seem to get it to work.

M.
User avatar
By James
#1755
On closer inspection, I seem to be doing a cup slap thing.

It's the same as I use on kapnlogo, but not having been trained on kpanlogo, I can't say it's a kpanlogo slap.

My problem with mixing them is that I get the feeling I'd break my fingers, if I tried it using as much arm force as I use for djembe slaps.

Bubudi was telling that you can get the same sound as a normal djembe slap, but by keeping fingers on the drum skin aftewards.

I had a senegalese teacher and seemed to be doing this and closer to the rim as you mentioned.
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By rachelnguyen
#1760
At this stage in my development, I can only reliably make a tone and one slap sound. But, yes, I can hear that my teacher makes many different slaps when he plays.

He has explained that different people make the sounds in different ways. For beginners, he suggests just slightly opening your fingers for the slap and slightly closing them for the tone. In both cases we hit the edge of the drum with the same part of our hand, right on the pads on the top of the palm.

As my hands have gotten tougher and more calloused, I am finding that I can get much better sound and more variety in my sound, but I still haven't gotten to the point where I can really control it predictably.

Love,
Rachel