Category: Oldstyle Philosophy

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It Feels So Good To Hit The Djembe…

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Originally published April 2006 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. It really does. Let's admit it. And the better you get the better it feels. There is nothing better than hitting your djembe when ...

The Difference between Soko, Sogo, Sojo and Soho

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Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. There is a lot of confusion in the djembe community surrounding rhythms called by slightly different names or rhythms with the same...

The 3 Ways To Play Djembe Accompaniment

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There are three ways to play djembe accompaniment: 1. Half-Assed-Waiting-To-Solo Half-Assed accompaniment playing has become popular in big cities. It's a favored style among hotshot "soloists" the world over. A...

The Djembe Can bring New Opportunities…

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Originally published October 2005 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. Once you embark on the path of the djembe you will learn so much. You will meet so many different kinds of people with so many dif...

Humility : #1 Criterion for Djembe Master

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Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. A true djembe master is humble. I have never met a master drummer who was not humble. I have met good drummers who were arrogant bu...

What Style Do You Play?

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Some people say that a true Djembe Master is required to play all styles and rhythms. Don't be fooled by this statement. There may be some truth to it, but it's misleading. If you misunderstand it, you'll tend to w...

Slicing & Building

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Working with "slicing and building" is how we refer to one of the most ancient soloing techniques in djembe music. It's done by taking a basic phrase and extending or shortening it to build and release musical ten...

The “Other Dimension” of the Djembe

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Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. The djembe has the power to transport people to other dimensions, or at least that’s what it seems to me. I have played many times ...

Is It My Turn to Solo Yet?

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Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. My teacher always emphasizes the value of good accompaniment. Accompaniment is number one. If a djembe player cannot play really go...

How To Play More Fluidly

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Here's an idea: To play more fluidly, try thinking of your role in the music as that of a conduit - not a container. Then work on yourself to become the most conductive conduit you can be. In other word...

Thank God for Our Djembe Community!

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Originally published January 2005 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. What an amazing community it is! I have met so many interesting people through my studies of the djembe. I often tell my students ...

1 Drummer, 2 Drummers, 3 Drummers MORE?

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Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. How many drummers make a good ensemble? 3 djembes and 2 dunun players? Hmmm… How about 4 Djembe accompaniments and 1 soloist and on...

Tips For Playing Active Accompaniment

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We introduced the idea of Active Accompaniment a while back, in this post. Here are some simple tips to get you started playing Active Accompaniment quickly. Start Playing Active Accompaniment A Word Of Ca...

Quickly Improve Your Solo

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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 accompaniment...

How To Anchor Yourself To The Beat

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Once you understand where the beat is, then you can move on to apply proper swing to your playing. Did you know there are a couple of musical elements you can easily look to when you want to find and anchor you...

Pillar #1: Honor Tradition

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Honoring the tradition of djembe music is the first of “The Endangered Three” – a group of three qualities that, when combined, embody Roots Djembe. And unfortunately, it’s becoming rare to find them all together ...

Djembe Happiness in UnHappy Times…

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Originally published December 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. We are living in some very tough times these days. If we only worry about all the stressful news and economic problems we are fac...

The 4 Handing Systems

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Four notable handing techniques to consider when playing djembe are: Hand-Over-Hand (as your default handing) Leading with your Dominant Hand (as your secondary handing) Random Handing (to be used when nee...

The Incredible Djembe!

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Originally published April 2006 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. The djembe never ceases to amaze me. Once you embark on the path of the djembefola your life will continually change and grow along ...

Djembe Friends are My Best Friends

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Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. My best friends have come through associations within my studies of the djembe. I have met so many wonderful people since I have st...

What Is Clave?

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Clave is a term used by Afro-Cuban musicians. It refers to a type of underlying timeline pattern in the music. Most rhythms from Cuba have one of these clave patterns. In Afro-Cuban music, the Clave can be very...

Signature Phrases

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A Signature Phrases is a phrase that's associated with very few rhythms (or only one rhythm), so when you hear it played, it's as if the rhythm is "saying it's own name." Many Dundun parts are signature phr...

How Much Money Does Wisdom Cost?

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Originally published August 2004 by Jeremy Chevrier on his Djembe Essays Blog. How much money do you have to pay a master to teach djembe? If you paid the master $100 for an hour-long private class should you g...

The Soloist’s Progression: Theme-Based Soloing

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The soloists progression is a basic formula for a good solo. It's not to be followed rigidly. In fact, the whole point is to increase fluidity and let your solo progress organically. The concept of the soloist...