about 30 seconds through his solo, mamady launches into these different sounding slaps. it's something i have heard in quite a few of his albums. i'm not sure what this slap is called, but does anyone have a good handle on the technique used to create this signature slap?
bubud...this has been discussed ad nauseum already on this forum.
In all my time studying with Mamady, he has never tried to teach this technique. I've heard it referred to as the "3rd slap" (normal and muff slap being 1&2), bass slap and kpanlogo slap.
fode bangoura can also kill this technique. he and mamady are the only 2 that i've seen completely master the sound and effect of this technique.
here's a clip of fode battling it out with Jaque in Italy:
no-one yet on this forum has said anything about how to produce the sound. it doesn't seem like mamady's changed his hand position to produce this slap. it's hard to see what he's doing different, but there is a bit of a downwards energy shift. has anyone seen it up close? details, please
didn't you take his workshops in OZ? you should have asked him.
mamady has probably the cleanest technique/hand out of any djembe player i've seen for clarity of sound, volume, power and his attack. there's a slight movement in his positioning for his tones and slaps(barely noticeable). for the third slap, he'll bring in his hand a touch closer to the rim (barely noticeable again) and he'll relax his index finger. he doesn't hit with much force...actually it looks like less force then his normal piercing slaps. and voila!!! he just pulls it out of his drums somehow.
fode bangoura plays it the same way. the difference b/w the two being that fode plays his drums a lot higher in pitch/tension then Mamady and his hands are like bricks when compared to Mamady's.
i've been playing around and practicing this slap for the past year now and have had some varying degrees of success. it's not consistent by any means.
i've come to the conclusion that it comes down to hand size/proportion to drum, wood, and skin tension.
petit adama also plays it a lot but i think he rocks the calf skin...
i didn't do the workshops so it would have been a bit rich to ask him
i've tried curling the fingers a bit (kpanlogo style) and have produced a different slap that way, but it sounded different to this one. i'll try some of the things you mentioned. by bringing the hand closer to the rim do you mean pulling the hand slightly away from the drum or do you mean slightly more towards the centre of the drum? also, would you say that this slap is more focused to one side (either more to the inside or outside of the hand) than the regular slap?
there's a few types of ivory coast slaps that i've seen. some of them come from the 3-headed drum. smaller drum head diameters require a more cupped slap technique with the hand not in as far. on a normal-large djembe you can get some nice sounds applying this technique.
adama drame, soungalo coulibaly and the yelemba crew have used a similar slap to the guinean slap, but they reach into the drum a little more. this technique gives a somewhat dryer slap and works especially well on a cow skin djembe. a variation on this slap is to slightly curl the fingers.
there are also some muted slaps and by that i don't mean the ones where you use the other hand to mute the sound, making the pitch much higher. there is a slight bit of cupping of the hand and the fingers remain on the skin a little. the pitch can be higher but is often the same as for a regular slap, although dryer and somewhat muffled. malian drummers use this technique a lot.
Yes, this has been covered, but the discussion sparked some information that I don't recall being posted before, so perhaps it was worthwhile to revisit this afterall.
... there's a slight movement in his positioning for his tones and slaps(barely noticeable). for the third slap, he'll bring in his hand a touch closer to the rim (barely noticeable again) and he'll relax his index finger. he doesn't hit with much force...actually it looks like less force then his normal piercing slaps. and voila!!! he just pulls it out of his drums somehow...
We've talked about the hand position coming to the rim before, but I suspected there was some relaxation in the index fingers also. I'm glad to have this confirmed by another player. Seems to me that the third slap notes are typically for accent.
I know this video has been posted before, but to keep things tidy it is worth posting here - very good at showing the range of tones that can be produced on a djembe and worth studying over and over.
Also watch Famoudou's very last accented note at the end of the song. Seems typically Famoudou turns his hand in slightly to produced accented notes. I recall this from his workshop as well, although I didn't ask him about the technique since I wasn't at a place I could make any sense of it (I would today however). I'm not sure if the position isn't also for show as well as sound. I'm also wondering if he is using middle, ring and baby finger as opposed the index, middle, and ring finger technique James had written about previously for tone and slap.(Hence causes a relaxed index finger as noted before.) The result is a sound with higher, "ringy" overtones.
In "A Life for the Djembe", Uschi Billmeier quotes Mamady about the teaching of djembe in Africa:
"Before, one would never show someone how he played. The difference of the technique, the sounds and the position of the hands is not explained. The students learn exclusively by listening and their learning depends entirely on their good listening and observing skills.
Since most of us do not live in the villages that Mamady refers, I think we have to rely on video, each other, and live performance (when available). Thanks to all that have, and will, post.
BTW I hadn't seen the original video of Mamady that sparked this discussion, so it is a nice addition to the forum.
Edit: I just went to the park to try out the techniques, and found that hand position was a greater determining factor than which fingers I used - although this may vary for others depending on skin, finger length/width, etc. I thought I did like using the baby, ring and middle finger and didn't worry about the index finger so much. Hope this helps others.
I have a thought - maybe it's something you guys have already mulled over, but I figured it couldn't hurt to post it anyway:
What if, instead of trying to imitate what you hear in videos or on records, you work with different hand positions (etc.) and develop *your own* 2nd, 3d (etc.) slaps?
Everyone's hands are different, and what one person does to get X sound is probably not what you or I need to do to get that sound, or one like it.
Drums with natural skin heads are capable of any number of different sonic "colors." it's fun to experiment, and I can just about guarantee that anyone who spends time just playing around, finding new ways to touch the skin, *will* surprise themselves by coming up with something they never thought they could do. (I say that based mainly on what I've been learning over the years about frame drumming - the technique is quite different than for djembe, but a lot of things I've learned have transitioned over to djembe quite nicely. In fact, my frame drum and darbuka playing is *so* much cleaner since I started studying and practicing djembe, it's not funny!)
Hint: A lot of frame drum styles/techniques make big-time use of mutiple slap sounds...
i didn't hear it at all bubud. although a nice 'kan, i just heard light slaps, hard slaps, bass, tone, and fingertips.
dug, from about 2 min onwards you can occasionally hear third slaps. different from the lighter slaps he's doing earlier in the piece by simply playing them more softly, and much like those mamady does, only he's using different combinations of sounds.