The djembe

How To Play Djembe

Slap Exercises

Exercise 1

Count slowly and evenly from 1 to 4 and play a tone with one 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
pa ta

Exercise 2

Play a tone with one hand on count 1, rest on count 2, a tone with the other hand on count 3 and then rest on count 4.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
pa ta pa ta

Exercise 3

Now alternate between each hand on each count.

1 2 3 4
pa ta pa ta

Exercise 4

Play 2 tones with one hand and 2 with the other.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
pa pa ta ta

Exercise 5

Play 3 tones with one hand and 1 with the other.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
pa pa pa ta

Exercise 6

Same as above, but with opposite hands.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
ta ta ta pa

Exercise 7

Play one tone with one hand, rest for one, then three tones on successive beats with alternating hands, starting with the red hand.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
pa pa ta pa pa ta

Exercise 8

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
pa ta ta pa ta ta