Series: Anatamy Of Djembe Solo Series

  • Slicing & Building

    Slicing & Building

    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 tension.  This is usually done by either doubling the length of the phrase, or slicing it in half. In theme-based soloing, slicing & building is one of the […]

  • Solo Rides

    Solo Rides

    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 soloist. There’s history with these phrases. As a soloist, you can relax when you play one, because it’s trusted and familiar, so you don’t have to try too hard; […]

  • The Soloist’s Progression: Theme-Based Soloing

    The Soloist’s Progression: Theme-Based Soloing

    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 soloists progression should be understood, and then used as a guide. Don’t underestimate it’s power. Using the soloists progression will, in […]

  • Signature Phrases

    Signature Phrases

    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 phrases. As we all know, listening to the dundun, you can often identify a rhythm even if there […]

  • Root Solo Phrases

    Root Solo Phrases

    Root Phrases present a theme for variation, and set the foundation for the rest of your theme-based solo. That’s why in the soloist’s progression, playing a Root Phrase is the first step.  Solo Rides (accompaniment style phrases played by the soloist) make good root phrases, but you can use any other basic solo phrase, too. Practicing Root Phrases When it comes to […]