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Re: Reggae Djembe

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  • djembesilo
    ... scene? And normally what patterns are used in playing reggae... Hi Ryan, There are no roots of djembe in reggae music. Reggae s main beat is produced with
    Message 1 of 20 , May 31 6:57 PM
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      --- In djembe-l@yahoogroups.com, ryan barros <ryanhonei@...> wrote:
      > Can someone explain to me the roots of djembe in the reggae music
      scene? And normally what patterns are used in playing reggae...

      Hi Ryan,

      There are no roots of djembe in reggae music. Reggae's main beat is
      produced with a drum kit, and other drums occasionally used in reggae
      (e.g. repeater drums, nyabinghi drums) are nothing like the djembe.
      If you see a djembe being played in a reggae band that's just because
      a band member thought it would be nice to add that sound to their
      music. The djembe is quite a versatile drum and in the right hands
      can be integrated into many genres of music.

      Drew
    • Amanda Pickering
      That said, just listen to the kaganu beat in Ewe drumming, and you ve got that --chakka--chakka feel of reggae straight off. If you re interested in knowing
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 1, 2006
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        That said, just listen to the kaganu beat in Ewe drumming, and you've got
        that --chakka--chakka feel of reggae straight off. If you're interested in
        knowing more about African culture in the West Indies, read up on the maroon
        society and culture - slaves who escaped and hid out up in the mountains -
        their culture was preserved much more effectively than those still enslaved.

        Cheers

        Amanda

        Drew AKA "djembesilo" <drumpower@...>
        > There are no roots of djembe in reggae music. Reggae's main beat is
        > produced with a drum kit, and other drums occasionally used in reggae
        > (e.g. repeater drums, nyabinghi drums) are nothing like the djembe.
        > If you see a djembe being played in a reggae band that's just because
        > a band member thought it would be nice to add that sound to their
        > music. The djembe is quite a versatile drum and in the right hands
        > can be integrated into many genres of music.
      • sfdjembeman
        ... However ... skin and ... goat skin ... I know a griot from Burkina Faso who does indeed use a cow skin on his djembe. It is tuned very high and he claims
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 2, 2006
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          --- In djembe-l@yahoogroups.com, "Roger Graham" <welshdrum@...> wrote:
          > The normal skin used in most West African countries is goat skin.
          However
          > certainly in Burkina Faso there a re plenty of drummers who use cow
          skin and
          > their drums are tuned to an even higher pitch than the traditional
          goat skin
          > users.

          I know a griot from Burkina Faso who does indeed use a cow skin on his
          djembe. It is tuned very high and he claims it is much more resilient
          than goat skin. I don't have soft hands but it was harder on my hands
          and I prefer a traditional goat skin, his hands are totally calloused.

          Arnold
          Djembe Man Drums
        • LeonMobley@aol.com
          I would first like to say that if your a percussionist in a band, you should have an arsenal of instruments not just a djembe. There are many rhythms that come
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 3, 2006
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            I would first like to say that if your a percussionist in a band, you
            should have an arsenal of instruments not just a djembe. There are many rhythms
            that come from Africa not necessarily played on djembe but are used in Jamaica
            in the making of reggae music. A great example to listen to is Third World,
            they have an album that has a track were the drummers are playing a rhythm that
            is called Kumina, I have it on my Ipod from the Ultimate Collection CD. I
            can't remember which album it is originally on, the rhythm comes from the Bantu of the Congo.
            When your a musician you must practice the ability to be able to
            mathematically put any rhythm to any music, as I often do when I play. Who am I to say my name is Leon Mobley I play percussion for Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals not that means anything but just a fellow percussionist in a band. I often put Mandjane, Lamba and Econcon in reggae music playing djembe.
          • Roger Graham
            From: sfdjembeman ... Since my original posting, I was this very day chatting to a drummer from Sierra Leone who has a djembe headed
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 3, 2006
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              From: "sfdjembeman" <sfdjembeman@...>
              > I know a griot from Burkina Faso who does indeed use a cow skin on his
              > djembe. It is tuned very high and he claims it is much more resilient
              > than goat skin. I don't have soft hands but it was harder on my hands
              > and I prefer a traditional goat skin, his hands are totally calloused.

              Since my original posting, I was this very day chatting to a drummer from
              Sierra Leone who has a djembe headed with cow skin. He claims the djembe
              "sings" better than goatskin when tuned high, and also needs tuning at less
              frequent intervals. He allowed me to play his drum and it certainly has
              different characteristics, and does seem harder on the hands than a goat
              skin. I will stick with my own goatskin djembe as I don't need to have the
              extra high pitch.

              Roger
            • Taiwo Adelaja
              Greetings Folks, Interesting reference from Leon awoke the reggae geek in me... I believe the Third World song Kumina comes from what s ostensibly their first
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 4, 2006
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                Greetings Folks,

                Interesting reference from Leon awoke the reggae geek in me...

                I believe the Third World song Kumina comes from what's ostensibly their
                first album...self-titled Third World...but which most reggae fans often
                refer to as Satta Amassagana, after one of the albums most popular songs.
                For a debut album, it's by any measure a tour-de-force of seminal but
                timeless reggae music. This one album almost single-handedly produced many
                of the drum and bass "riddims" that have been recycled ever so often in
                reggae songs since then. For example, the Satta Amassagana "riddim" has
                spawned countless hit reggae songs since the early 70s when it first came
                out.

                The song Kumina just so happens to be a Nyabinghi drumming outtake that
                helped to solidify Third World's reputation as an avant-garde reggae band
                with deep pan-Africanist real-rasta roots. But listen to Satta Amassagana's
                sparse percussion track and it's an object lesson on how best to integrate
                the djembe into reggae.

                By the way, Nyabinghi drumming employs a variety of percussion instruments
                (and rhythms), many of which most of us would be hard-pressed to name or
                identify, and some of which are often improvised on the spot. Can't say for
                sure, but the Kumina rhythm may be an ancient Nyabinghi rhythm, but its
                origin may be Ghanaian not Congolese. Also, I believe the djembe has never
                really been considered a traditional Nyabinghi ensemble drum, though
                contemporary Nyabinghi drummers and reggae percussionists are now
                increasingly utilizing it due to its versatility and popularity.

                If anyone out there knows for certain what kinds of drums tend to comprise a
                traditional Nyabinghi drum ensemble, please share.

                I find this reggae djembe thread an interesting one because beyond the hand
                drum aspect, the "reggae trapset" and how it differs in sound and
                application from other "trapsets" is quite intriguing. And it's in the
                combination of trapset and hand drum that the soul of reggae rhythm lives.

                Cheers,
                Tai
                ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                LeonMobley@... wrote:

                I would first like to say that if your a percussionist in a band, you
                suld have an arsenal of instruments not just a djembe. There are many
                rhythms that come from Africa not necessarily played on djembe but are used
                in Jamaica in the making of reggae music. A great example to listen to is
                Third World, they have an album that has a track were the drummers are
                playing a rhythm that
                is called Kumina, I have it on my Ipod from the Ultimate Collection CD. I
                can't remember which album it is originally on, the rhythm comes from the
                Bantu of the Congo.

                When your a musician you must practice the ability to be able to
                mathematically put any rhythm to any music, as I often do when I play. Who
                am I to say my name is Leon Mobley I play percussion for Ben Harper & the
                Innocent Criminals not that means anything but just a fellow percussionist
                in a band. I often put Mandjane, Lamba and Econcon in reggae music playing
                djembe.
              • Merlin@silvercircle.org
                ... goat skin ... I had a performance on friday with my band, and the lead soloist had indeed a calf skin on his djembe. He could play half as loud again as
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 4, 2006
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                  --- In djembe-l@yahoogroups.com, "Roger Graham" <welshdrum@...> wrote:
                  > The normal skin used in most West African countries is goat skin. However
                  > certainly in Burkina Faso there a re plenty of drummers who use cowskin and
                  > their drums are tuned to an even higher pitch than the traditional
                  goat skin
                  > users.

                  I had a performance on friday with my band, and the lead soloist had
                  indeed a calf skin on his djembe. He could play half as loud again as
                  any of us... :-) If I have to compare calf and goat, then the goat
                  sounds metallic, and the calf sounds higher but with far fewer
                  overtones, almost like a proper musical chord, and with a woodblock
                  quality to the sound. I would have to hear him play his own and my
                  djembe to know for sure, but from a "pleasing to the ear" perspective
                  I would go for calf.

                  However, in Holland where I live, he is the first I have come across
                  with calf, the standard is goatskin, although I must say people are
                  moving towards selecting the thicker goat skins. The thicker the
                  skin, the higher you can tune it. However, a highly tuned skin makes
                  the tones more difficult to play, and in some cases (depends on your
                  technique) if you have the skin tuned lower, your slap can be
                  _higher_ than with a tighter skin. The reason is that you may be able
                  to hit the extra overtone with a looser skin, and lose that ability
                  if the skin is too tight. So tighter is not always better. Also, if
                  you play accompaniment, a lower tuned djembe may be a nicer
                  complement to the whole rhythm than to have them all at the same very
                  high pitch.

                  Happy drumming,
                  Dennis
                • Reverend R Clark
                  Greetings Tai and ALL! Thank You for the back story and wonderful amplification of Leon s comments about the group Third World, JAH know they re one of my
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 4, 2006
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                    Greetings Tai and ALL!

                    Thank You for the back story and wonderful amplification of Leon's
                    comments about the group Third World, JAH know they're one of my
                    favorites in Reggae.

                    In answer to your question, the 'binghi drum ensemble is outlined on my webpage
                    "Who is JAH..."
                    http://home.acceleration.net/clark/Links/JAH.html
                    <http://home.acceleration.net/clark/Links/JAH.html> where I write near
                    the bottom of the page:

                    "In JA prior to the 1950's there was an early drumming form called
                    "Burru" the drums of which there are three: the Bass, the Funde, and the
                    Keite/Repeater.... "

                    If you scroll clear down to the bottom of the webpage --for your viewing
                    pleasure I just now photographed, cropped, edited and added the less
                    than perfect picture of my Repeata I got before the battery in my
                    1M-pixel camera tanked <grin>!

                    Some more cogent info may be found at Wikipedia:
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyabinghi#Nyabinghi
                    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyabinghi#Nyabinghi>

                    And Eric Stuer's RhythmWeb
                    http://www.rhythmweb.com/jamaica/nyabinghi.htm
                    <http://www.rhythmweb.com/jamaica/nyabinghi.htm>!

                    Thanks and Praises for Iver-thing, JAH!
                    One Love, R
                    ++++++
                    “Just as we have done in the past, we will make available to you,
                    through various experts, detectives which will serve as your guide in
                    your work.”
                    - H.I.M. Haile Selassie I Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Emperor of Ethiopia
                    ++++++

                    Taiwo Adelaja wrote:
                    > If anyone out there knows for certain what kinds of drums tend to comprise a
                    > traditional Nyabinghi drum ensemble, please share.
                  • ryan barros
                    Hi guys, I m Ryan from the Philippines.. I m just curious if anyone here is interesed to export djembe or other music instrument here in our country.
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 5, 2006
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                      Hi guys,

                      I'm Ryan from the Philippines.. I'm just curious if anyone here is interesed to export djembe or other music instrument here in our country. Unfortunately, Djembe production here is quite low and I would like to market it more here.

                      Thanks,

                      Ryan
                    • jake harrison
                      i really appreciated what you had to say, it seems to me and my somewhat limited experience in the hand precussion world that most people are interested in
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 7, 2006
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                        i really appreciated what you had to say, it seems to me and my somewhat
                        limited experience in the hand precussion world that most people are
                        interested in traditional drumming and drum circles. i admit that i know
                        little about traditional african drumming. i am better versed in afro-cuban
                        but still limited.
                        in mexico, where i spent 4 years traveling, there is a loose knit group of
                        us drummers who get together and share whatever new rythems or techniques we
                        had learned. while traveling i mainly supported myself with my drum and i
                        found that i had somewhat of an edge over other drummers because of an
                        insistence to find and create rythms that went with songs that i enjoyed
                        singing ( definetly the other spectrum from a traditional stand point)
                        anything from traditional mexican, cuban, or south american songs, to bob
                        marley, even translated to spanish
                        though i am eager to learn as much about drumming as I can, i am incredible
                        content in the fact that i find myself creativly open and flexible and am
                        always thinking of ways to cooperate with other types of musicians and
                        genres...have you ever heard of an instrument called a Jarana...defintley
                        sounds very cool with a djembe or doumbek..
                        anyway, it was very cool to read your mail and you offered a point of view
                        no too very often talked about, at least in my limited experiences..thanks
                        again

                        Jacob Harrison
                        B.F. Wyoming
                        Jacob


                        LeonMobley@... writes:
                        > I would first like to say that if your a percussionist in a band, you
                        >should have an arsenal of instruments not just a djembe. There are many
                        >rhythms
                        >that come from Africa not necessarily played on djembe but are used in
                        >Jamaica
                        >in the making of reggae music. A great example to listen to is Third World,
                        >they have an album that has a track were the drummers are playing a rhythm
                        >that
                        >is called Kumina, I have it on my Ipod from the Ultimate Collection CD. I
                        >can't remember which album it is originally on, the rhythm comes from the
                        >Bantu of the Congo.
                        > When your a musician you must practice the ability to be able to
                        >mathematically put any rhythm to any music, as I often do when I play. Who
                        >am I to say my name is Leon Mobley I play percussion for Ben Harper & the
                        >Innocent Criminals not that means anything but just a fellow percussionist
                        >in a band. I often put Mandjane, Lamba and Econcon in reggae music playing
                        >djembe.
                      • Reverend R Clark
                        Greetings Jacob and ALL! ... Those two groups Do seem to account for the bulk of folks playing Djembes these days. Djembe-L is very much
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 7, 2006
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                          Greetings Jacob and ALL!

                          Jacob Harrison wrote:
                          > i really appreciated what you had to say, it seems to me and my somewhat
                          > limited experience in the hand precussion world that most people are
                          > interested in traditional drumming and drum circles.
                          <snippety doo dah>

                          Those two groups Do seem to account for the bulk of folks playing
                          Djembes these days. Djembe-L is very much centered with the West African
                          tradition, for true, and we moderators try to keep the discussion on
                          topic with varying degrees of success. There's plenty of room in "rhythm
                          addiction" for a more eclectic niche IMNSHO. I personally am interested
                          in most any existing traditional instrument and also in ones of my own
                          design based upon them. I play them along with recorded music, provide
                          my own soundtrack as I watch videos and channel healing sounds at Reiki
                          Share groups in addition to hosting a drumcircle all the while I can
                          hear the traditional West African rhythms I've taken many classes in,
                          and all the other input from the world at large informing most all I do.
                          I don't know how it could be otherwise. In my case anyway, the "IN door"
                          to musical influences is always open and yet there is no "OUT door." For
                          everyone and everything I have ever Loved is still present in my Heart.

                          > though i am eager to learn as much about drumming as I can, i am incredible
                          > content in the fact that i find myself creativly open and flexible and am
                          > always thinking of ways to cooperate with other types of musicians and
                          > genres...have you ever heard of an instrument called a Jarana...defintley
                          > sounds very cool with a djembe or doumbek..
                          <snippety Ay>

                          No, and I looked it up it seems it is an eight string guitar sort of
                          thing...
                          http://www.loscenzontles.com/overview.html
                          <http://www.loscenzontles.com/overview.html>

                          > anyway, it was very cool to read your mail and you offered a point of view
                          > no too very often talked about, at least in my limited experiences..thanks
                          > again
                          <snippety all the live long day>

                          Thank You, also, for sharing.

                          Thanks for Everything!
                          One Love, R
                          ++++++
                          “The entire Universe is condensed in the body, and the entire body in
                          the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the Whole Universe.”
                          - Sri Ramana Maharshi
                          ++++++
                        • Matt
                          Hi Ryan, Maybe I can help you out, check out my offerings on eBay, look me up by my seller ID , jamcat8, I have all kinds of musical instruments. Thanks! ...
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 7, 2006
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                            Hi Ryan,
                            Maybe I can help you out, check out my offerings on eBay, look me up by my seller ID , jamcat8, I have all kinds of musical instruments. Thanks!
                            >>matt

                            Ryan Barros <ryanhonei@...> wrote:
                            I'm Ryan from the Philippines.. I'm just curious if anyone here is interesed to export djembe or other music instrument here in our country. Unfortunately, Djembe production here is quite low and I would like to market it more here.
                            <snip>
                          • djembesilo
                            Hi Jacob, ... It s a great thing to be open minded but remember also that traditional rhythms too were created to go with songs, and with most new songs a new
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 7, 2006
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                              Hi Jacob,

                              --- In djembe-l@yahoogroups.com, "jake harrison" <the_rooster79@...>
                              wrote:

                              > while traveling i mainly supported myself with my drum and i
                              > found that i had somewhat of an edge over other drummers because
                              > of an insistence to find and create rythms that went with songs
                              > that i enjoyed singing ( definetly the other spectrum from a
                              > traditional stand point)

                              It's a great thing to be open minded but remember also that
                              traditional rhythms too were created to go with songs, and with most
                              new songs a new rhythm was born. That's why in the reggae scene they
                              call songs "riddims". It's an African concept. A famous Guinean
                              master drummer called Famoudou Konate teaches traditional songs and
                              rhythms to go with them. Learning the songs with the rhythms is a
                              great way to learn to accompany singing with the drum and also to be
                              able to sing and play at the same time!

                              Another point about keeping open is never estimate the possibilities
                              of traditional drumming. The tradition is forever changing, so new
                              songs, new rhythms, new solos and new breaks are being invented all
                              the time. The rhythmic concepts, phrasing, techniques, harmonies and
                              subtleties that traditional West African drumming will give you can be
                              combined with a bit of ingenuity to create new styles to go with all
                              other types of music, such as reggae or rock. There are difficult
                              aspects to polyrhythmic playing which haven't yet been explored in
                              non-African styles of music. They sound so beautiful when executed
                              well, but you can only learn these fully through a solid grounding in
                              African or Afro-Cuban drumming. So starting out in tradition, my
                              friend, and then branching out will give you more possibilities than
                              learning freestyle, because until you've tapped into the collective
                              milleniums of rhythmic knowledge West African drumming has to offer
                              you, you're limited by what you've been exposed to. Your imagination
                              to create new things is also informed by what you know, so learn this
                              stuff well and your creativity will grow.

                              For example, think about how Paul Simon stretched the parameters of
                              pop rock through using batucada and African vocals, guitar and
                              percussion in his music. He could only do this because of his
                              exposure to it. Similarly, Led Zeppelin was such an awesome band
                              because they were very well grounded in blues and rock. They
                              maintained the strong blues roots in the music and this informed their
                              creativity to create new styles. They also took influences from India
                              and there are spiritual aspects to their music too, but that would be
                              a whole other discussion... I think you get the message! :)

                              Respect for being open enough to read this and take it in!

                              Drew
                            • Alex Salvador
                              hi ryan kamusta? Alex Salvador here from Australia. I facilitate drum circles here and also lead a West African drumming group WASSA. Good to see another
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 12, 2006
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                                hi ryan

                                kamusta? Alex Salvador here from Australia. I
                                facilitate drum circles here and also lead a West
                                African drumming group WASSA.

                                Good to see another pinoy on this list. Dito na ako
                                lumaki pero siyempre pinoy pa rin.

                                Sorry - can't help you with your inquiry. I suggest
                                you make a trip to Guinea (I know it's a big call) but
                                you can really make good business importing drums from
                                Guinea direct from the drum makers. I bought my djembe
                                over there for AU$40 (walang skin - shell lang and
                                rings).

                                Anyway, keep in touch.

                                Cheers,
                                Alex Salvador
                                http://therhythmconnection.music.net.au
                                <http://therhythmconnection.music.net.au>

                                Ryan barros <ryanhonei@...> wrote:
                                <snip>
                                > I'm Ryan from the Philippines.. I'm just curious
                                > if anyone here is interesed to export djembe or
                                > other music instrument here in our country.
                                <snip>
                              • Alex Salvador
                                Sorry list I thought that was sent directly to ryan s email and not to the group. Apologies.... Cheers, Alex
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 13, 2006
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                                  Sorry list

                                  I thought that was sent directly to ryan's email and
                                  not to the group. Apologies....

                                  Cheers,
                                  Alex

                                  --- Alex Salvador <wassadrummer@...> wrote:

                                  > hi ryan
                                  >
                                  > kamusta? Alex Salvador here from Australia. I
                                  > facilitate drum circles here and also lead a West
                                  > African drumming group WASSA.
                                  >
                                  > Good to see another pinoy on this list. Dito na ako
                                  > lumaki pero siyempre pinoy pa rin.
                                  >
                                  > Sorry - can't help you with your inquiry. I suggest
                                  > you make a trip to Guinea (I know it's a big call)
                                  > but
                                  > you can really make good business importing drums
                                  > from
                                  > Guinea direct from the drum makers. I bought my
                                  > djembe
                                  > over there for AU$40 (walang skin - shell lang and
                                  > rings).
                                  >
                                  > Anyway, keep in touch.
                                  >
                                  > Cheers,
                                  > Alex Salvador
                                  > http://therhythmconnection.music.net.au
                                  > <http://therhythmconnection.music.net.au>
                                  >
                                  > Ryan barros <ryanhonei@...> wrote:
                                  > <snip>
                                  > > I'm Ryan from the Philippines.. I'm just curious
                                  > > if anyone here is interesed to export djembe or
                                  > > other music instrument here in our country.
                                  > <snip>
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