Pillar #1: Honor Tradition

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 in modern djembe music.

Even though we often play djembe music outside of its classic context, there are things we can do if we like Roots Djembe style, even as American or European students.

We can choose to play classic music on classic instruments.

Historic Phrasing
In Roots Djembe music, each piece is played with its unique historic phrasing. We play variations on themes –  themes that have been organically developed by a collaborative effort of many generations of musicians, and dancers.

Choosing to use this age-old phrasing with deep feeling before choosing busy, heady, or “interesting” sounding phrases helps create each rhythm’s unique melodic flavor.

Deep, Warm Sounding Djembes
A wider range of sound is available when a djembe skin isn’t tuned too tightly.

Closed slaps, deep basses, and fat tones all add to the melody and musicality of Roots Djembe music for a difference you can actually feel.

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