Saturday, May 28, 2011

Some West African Patterns

When I was in Moose Jaw, SK last week adjudicating the Jazz portion of the Moose Jaw Band & Choral festival I had the opportunity to catch up with my good friend Val McWilliams and her daughter Kate. Val is a very dedicated music educator and Kate is a very talented musician (and former student of mine!) and currently producing a summer music festival in Moose Jaw. Kate asked me about some patterns and ensemble grooves to play on the djembe.

Here you go Kate : )

I'm not sure of the exact origin of this groove but percussionist Aldo Mazza showed this to me in Montreal several years ago.

This piece consists of a 12/8 bell pattern and two drum patterns that compliment each other. You'll notice that the second drum pattern is basically the same as the first one except it starts on the second half of the bar. The pattern is rounded out by a simple shaker pattern that accents the dotted-quarter note pulse.

Use the following key for the djembe patterns:

+ = closed tone

o = open tone (accented)

R = right hand

L = left hand

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