Dancing Hands Music

How to Play Djembe (physical book, CD, and DVD)

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in the U.S.

by Alan Dworsky and Betsy Sansby 

This is the complete package: the book and audio CD plus the DVD.  

The book is a step-by-step course for beginners on how to play djembe. Right from the start you'll be learning interlocking parts for some of the most popular West African rhythms: Kuku, Djole, Kassa, Madan, Suku, Sunguru Bani, and Tiriba. While you learn the patterns, you'll also learn how to make each of the basic strokes--bass, tone, and slap--with proper playing technique. We use life-like illustrations to show how each stroke looks from the outside and give detailed descriptions to explain how each stroke feels from the inside. The book also has easy-to-read box charts and a friendly writing style that creates the feel of private lessons.

The DVD shows you how every pattern in the book is played, like this: 


The audio CD that comes with the book gives you a chance to hear how the parts for each rhythm fit together. It was recorded by Joh Camara, a master drummer from Bamako, Mali. Each rhythm lasts at least five minutes, so you'll have plenty of time to play along. And when Joh solos during the final three minutes of each track, you'll feel the thrill of playing your part along with an ensemble and lead drummer.

"A superb work... it makes learning easy and fun, and Joh Camara's playing on the play-along CD is a joy to hear." Professor Michael Williams, Dept. of Music, Winthrop University