Thursday, February 19, 2009

Beginners Djun Djun Lesson with Jim Donovan

Photo by Kaylyn Oshaben

One of the most beautiful, yet sometimes overlooked African drums are the djun-djuns.
The voice that the djuns give really help drumming music become more dynamic and musical, especially when combined with iron bells.

Below is a beginner lesson from my Rhythmic Foundation DVD.
This video shows you how to hold the stick and how to strike the drums efficiently. The next step after learning this basic technique would be to attach the bell to the djun djun and learn to do the bell in one hand while playing the djun in the other hand.

In traditional West African drumming, there are 3 sizes of Djuns: The smallest is called the kenkeni, the medium drum is the sangban and the large is called the dununba. The iron bells that attach are referred to by some as toke' bells.

The djuns and the bells are typically the drums that carry the melodies of WA drumming music, while the more popular djembe is used primarily as an accompaniment instrument. The exception to this being the lead drum or master drummer who uses a very high pitched djembe for soling and doing calls....

If you're looking for a few masters of these instruments:
Check out Mamady Keita
or Michael Markus

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