Category: Articles

Sort: | Date | Title | Views | Comments | Random Sort Ascending
View:

Learning Mode vs. Playing Mode

59 Views0 Comments

At times, we're too heady while playing, affecting timing, flow, spontaneity, and the general feeling of the music. What Happens? Deep thought and analysis help us gain a better understanding of djembe music. (W...

Quickly Improve Your Accompaniment

50 Views0 Comments

Broadly speaking, there are two areas of djembe playing that we can always improve on so that the music just keeps getting better and better all the time: Accompaniment Solo. We discuss solo in this...

4 Tips To Round Out Your Djembe Solos

47 Views1 Comments

4 Tips For Better Djembe Solos

Slowly, Slowly The Bird Builds Its Nest…

21 Views0 Comments

Originally published August 2005 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. You cannot learn the djembe overnight. This is impossible. Djembe is a lifetime learning experience. You can never stop learning wi...

Don’t Tell the Master to Wipe Your Ass

26 Views0 Comments

Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. Never judge a person before you know them. I have heard so many incredible stories from Abdoulaye regarding embarrassing inc...

The “Ripping” and “Shredding” of Traditional Djembe

23 Views0 Comments

Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. People play djembe for a variety of reasons. Some play for fun. Some play because they want to show off. Some play to attract a mat...

4 Hand Clapping Patterns In Djembe Music

30 Views0 Comments

Hand clapping really adds a lot to djembe music. Unlike percussion music from some other parts of the world, I've noticed the hand clapping in djembe music is on the beat for the most part. It's not too complex, b...

GOOD NEWS! You’ll Never Know the Djembe!

22 Views1 Comments

Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. Absolutely. It is nice to know that our studies of this drum and African culture have no end. This means that if you are having fun...

There is Only One Mande

18 Views0 Comments

Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. Many people in the djembe community are talking about “Guinea Style”, “Mali Style”, “Senegalese Style”, etc. It seems that separati...

Solo Rides

32 Views0 Comments

Solo Rides are solo phrases that are like accompaniment patterns. In modern ensembles, they sometimes become "accompaniment #2," "accompaniment #3," or "accompaniment #4," but they were originally played by the so...

A Theme-Based Approach to Soloing

60 Views2 Comments

The difference between a phrase-based and theme-based approach to djembe is profound. It may be one of the biggest reasons why many students will never sound like their African teachers - no matter how long or har...

Problems With The Phrases-Based Approach to Djembe

36 Views0 Comments

I recommend you adopt a themes-based approach to djembe rather than a phrases-based approach. If your teacher or someone else seems infinitely better than you at djembe, a theme-based approach may be one of th...

Series: Jeremy Chevrier’s Djembe Essays

22 Views0 Comments

We're happy to republish a handful of articles originally written a decade ago by Jeremy Chevrier, founder of Rootsy Records as well as The Djembe Hotel in Bamako, Mali. Jeremy, and the recordings he re...

Intro To Active Accompaniment

392 Views1 Comments

"Active Accompaniment" describes a style of advanced dynamic accompaniment playing we hear in Roots Djembe music. It has to do with the presence and priorities of the accompanist. A player who plays Active...

Don’t Force Your Entire Repertoire

29 Views0 Comments

One of the main things you can do to improve the quality of your solo is to decrease the quantity of different solo phrases. Forcing Your Repertoire Many people try to sound better by running through a larg...

The Need for Speed

16 Views0 Comments

Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. In the past, speed was only one skill or facet of being a good djembe player. Today it has become one of the most important...

You Can’t Force The Djembe…

13 Views0 Comments

Originally published May 2005 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. My teacher Abdoulaye Diakite has told me many times that, "If you try to force the djembe, the djembe will force you.". His teacher Su...

Intro to Hand-Over-Hand

19 Views0 Comments

Keep Your Hands Moving Hand-Over-Hand is a technique where you keep your hands moving while you play. Your hands move up and down constantly, alternating back and forth, sometimes even pitter-pattering on...

Solo Meditations

26 Views0 Comments

A solo meditation is a practice exercise in which you focus on one single solo theme, represented by a root solo phrase. Meditations help to develop an intimate relationship with the rhythm. They are an ...

Two Extremes To Think About

26 Views0 Comments

Here's a djembe-related false dichotomy: I make the music happen vs. IT just streams through me. The "I make the music happen" Extreme Now all too common, unfortunately. A modern and juvenile approach to pla...

5 Ways HOH Technique Can Help You

31 Views0 Comments

Adopting Hand Over Hand takes a bit of work, but for us it’s been WELL worth the effort. In the long run, it saves you time and energy, and helps you spot commonalities you might not have noticed before. ...

The Djembe is My Religion

9 Views0 Comments

Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. Why not? Everything that I have learned from the Religions of the world I have found within the djembe. Treat people kindly ...

Beneath The Surface: Timeline Patterns

18 Views1 Comments

In the Underlying Patterns series we dig in to the many kinds of patterns that we find at play under the surface in djembe and dundun music. In ethnomusicology, these patters are called by many names, such as "...

Playing Just Accompaniment For Years

12 Views0 Comments

You might have heard stories of djembe players in africa playing accompaniment djembe for years before being allowed by their master to solo. You may have thought to yourself "Man, why are they so mean to t...