Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tips on Djembe Technique

This video clip from the Rhythmic Foundation : Interactive African Drumming for Everyone DVD gives you tips on how to start playing your djembe. In it, Jim covers how to sit, how and where to strike the drum so that you make good sound and how to keep your hands healthy.

Good technique is important and allows you to do a few things:

1. It keeps your hands from getting hurt.
2. It helps you learn to differentiate your tones so that you can begin to learn the language of the drum.
3. It gives you "efficiency of motion" so that you end up using as little energy as possible, thereby making it easier for you to play and learn.

As with anything worth doing, give yourself time with your drum and repeat the exercises often to make better gains in your playing. You'll get back whatever you put into it. Most importantly, infuse your approach to practice with the attitude of joy...

Now go grab your drum!


  1. Hey Jim. That's cool man. I wrote and article about djembe technique and would appreciate any feedback you have.

  2. I am an amateur learning to be a master. My website is an exploration into learning all about the djembe. I started out holding my hands wrong, still do, and practiced with many other bad habits I picked up. Have had my djembe almost 9 years but time spent playing has been few and far between. Now that I have some unexpected free time I am dedicating a site to making a record of my learning process and everything I learn along the way. The video above is very helpful. I would like to use this blog on my website as a link or embedded as a part of my records.

  3. Hey root,saw/felt Rusted Root in the burg -early 90's ~thanks for those night(s)!
    At present banging on bottom of soda cracker tin & feel the djembe rhythm. Most thankful for your page listing on google.I did ''djembe technique video'',and there you were. I aspire to drum to the extent of pleasure of Tarik in ''the visitor'' & surely will with men like you/do indeed plan on tailing you with djembeing* spelling probably not correct