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The djembe

How To Play Djembe

Bass Note Exercises

Exercise 1

Count slowly and evenly from 1 to 4 and play a bass note with the 1st hand on count 1 only. Rest for counts 2, 3 and 4 (don't play anything) and then go back to the beginning, making sure to keep even time between counts 4 and 1 (It's as if you're going on to 5).

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
GU DU

Exercise 2

Play a bass note with the 1st hand on count 1, rest on count 2, the bass note with the 2nd hand on count 3 and then rest on count 4.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
GU DU GU DU

Exercise 3

Now alternate between 1st and 2nd hand on each count. Same thing, just quicker!

1 2 3 4
GU DU GU DU

Exercise 4

Play 2 bass notes with one hand and 2 with the other.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
GU GU DU DU

Exercise 5

Play 3 with the 1st hand and 1 with the 2nd hand.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
GU GU GU DU

Exercise 6

Same as above, but with opposite hands.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
DU DU DU GU

Exercise 7

Play one bass with the 1st hand, rest for one, then three basses on successive beats with alternating hands, starting with the 1st hand.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
GU GU DU GU GU DU

Exercise 8

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
GU DU DU GU DU DU

Next article: The Tone Note