6/8 Rhythm Part 2 - Lesson
6/8 Part 2
6/8 Part 2 - Slow
Notes and Notation
The second part in 6/8 West African rhythms is almost always the same, from rhythm to rhythm. It is played opposite part 1, meaning it is played during the silent part of the other one. Where part 1 has one tone, this part has two tones, so it feels just a little faster to play, and both hands get equal exercise.
Watch and listen to the video! It's the only way to get it right.
For notation buffs, it looks like this:
S . . S T T S . . S T T - two cycles
S . . S T T S . . S T T S . . S T T S . . S T T - four cycles
Now this one brings up an important point. Remember how I said above that this one is played in the silence of the other part 1? That would mean that this part 2 needs to line up opposite of the first one, so to speak. So... what you do is, you play your "last" part of the beat, the Slap, then wait, then play the beat.
That way, the other player, for part 1, and you on part 2, are playing all the slaps at the exact same time, but the tones are totally separated, and it sounds cool. The real cool part is when one of you is playing a higher drum, like for part 1, and part 2 is played on a lower, more resonant drum. Oh yeah!!
Believe me, it's a lot easier than it sounds, when you just watch and listen to the video. That's another reason I prefer to teach with video and audio than with notation.
So I will focus a bit on starting on stopping this video, so you get the hang of it. For this part, how you enter the rhythm and start playing it, is EVERYthing about getting it right. If you play it in the wrong place with someone playing part 1, then it all just gets muddy and you play over each other instead of opposite each other, and it doesn't make the rhythm either right, or fun and danceable.
So get ready, play with me, and learn part 2 for the African 6/8's!!
Robert, signing out. Yeehah!
Screaming with Joy
I am a musician myself but wanted to learn drumming. When I watch Robert drum for dancers at Dance Church, Sufi, and parties, and see how everyone starts moving, shouting and screaming with joy, it's amazing. I realized I wanted to do that! I have been taking group lessons from Robert once a week for about 2 months now, and for someone that never touched a drum before, I am getting better fast. His knowledge goes way beyond the rhythms and sounds - he really understands the art and spirit of it, the psychology and physiology of dancers. I get a lot out of every lesson, and I intend to join his performance group.
~~ Kevin Dalfonso, Musician, Systems Tech, Encinitas, CA
Get the Room Rocking
I met Robert some years ago. When I learned about his prowess as a drummer and rocking the djembe, I invited him to join my rock band, Clarke After Darke. He was amazing. It didn't matter what the song was, he was always able to get the room rocking with his strong percussive beats. And he dueled with the kit-drummer, like a swashbuckling pirate and they laid down some fabulous solos. Besides, he is a really kind and gentle person. We were sad when he left for California. We love him to bits.
~~ Clarke Stevens, Entertainer, CPA, Phoenix, AZ
I've been casually drumming for many years but never formally, and never with african drumming. Then I saw Robert drumming at our local dance church. I was amazed how he could change rhythms effortlessly and "communicate" with the other drummers. Not only is he a great drummer, he is an extraordinary teacher. He is kind, patient and shows a true love for drumming and teaching. When he asked us at our first lesson what were our goals, he didn't snicker or laugh when I said "I just want to be as good as you" - now my goal is to have fun and be as good as I can be, and if that even approximates a quarter of Robert's talent I will be grateful.
~~ Paul Paez, Chiropractor, Encinitas, CA