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The djembe

How To Play Djembe

Djembe Lessons

The Rumble

The rumble, or continuous roll is a great exercise for players at all levels. The idea is simple: Play a stream of notes of equal length, creating a roll, or rumble sound.

You can play either bass notes, tones or slaps, although you'll probably find tones are easiest to start with. Play one note after the other and see how long you can keep it up. Try speeding up, slowing down, playing harder, softer and any variation you can think of. It builds stamina and strength quickly as it's quite tiring to do for any length of time.

Here's what it looks like on a chart using tones. Notice how the count has been subdivided using '+'. Say this as 'and'.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
go do go do go do go do

There are a couple of variations on the standard left-right-left-right roll, shown here.

The first variation is to play two notes with the same hand before playing two notes with the other hand. This is a technique popular with conga players and can be incredibly difficult to do quickly while still sounding smooth.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
go go do do go go do do

Next try this killer exercise that incorporates a bass note with alternating hands. Note that the timing in this exercise is 3/4, or 3 quarter notes per bar (Only count in cycles of 3).

1 + 2 + 3 +
GUN do go DUN go do

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