Beginners djembe exercises

This article builds on terminology laid out in drumming lingo. Depending on your experience and understanding, you may or may not need to read that first.

The quality of your sounds is extremely important,

These exercises will improve djembe technique, co-ordination, strength, stamina and quality of sounds you make on your djembe.

If you do these exercises, you'll even get a meditative effect, and feel better for it :)

Your hands and your brain will get used to moving between tones and slaps in various orders and combinations.

The beauty is in their simplicity. Start slowly and a keep the tempo constant.

Aim for clear sounds and expecially for distinction between tones and slaps. Slowly increase the tempo while trying to keep your sounds clear.

These exercises are very good for strengthening your weak hand. In most cases the left hand. You can move between left hand leading (starting the pattern with a cetain hand) and right hand without stopping the pattern by using roulements or flams.

Notation is easy

Don't be intimidated by the notation you see below. It's not for everybody, but most people can learn to read it quite quickly, and for visual learners it can speed up the learning process significantly.

Each of the staffs below represents a beat:

The above represents is a rhythm in 4 time, which is the say each beath is split into 4 periods time, known as 16th notes.

If you play left > right > left > right with your hands on your lap, while counting each time a hand hits your leg - 1,2,3,4, then repeat this 4 times, you will have played one measure of 4/4.

These symbols represent bass notes:

These symbols represent tone notes:

These symbols represent the sharper slaps notes:

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