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Learning Mode vs. Playing Mode

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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...

A Theme-Based Approach to Soloing

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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

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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...

Two Extremes To Think About

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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...

Playing Just Accompaniment For Years

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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...

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 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...