Passport Part - Lesson
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Passport Part - Lesson 2
Passport Part - Faster
Passport Part - Slow
Passport 4/4 Break - Lesson
The standard break for most of the rhythms where the Passport rhythm is played, will likely start with the standard 4/4 break with slaps.
Passport 4/4 Break
Passport 4/4 Break - Slow
Notes and Notation
OK this is technically not a rhythm, but rather an accompaniment part, generally used in a lot of 4/4 rhythms. It is so common though, and so commonly taught as an example of 4/4 rhythmic feel, that it will quite literally get you into almost any drum circle or drum group. Thus, the "passport" name. It's probably the most important one to know, of all the parts I am teaching, as a beginner on djembe for drum circles. So learn it, play it, a LOT, and get good at it, at a lot of different speeds. The only way to do that is.... you guessed it. Play it a LOT!
Here is how it goes...
Start with a Slap, then two slaps, then end with two tones. The next repetition starts right on the tail of that last tone, so it sounds like the two tones are grouped with the first slap again.
For all you notation hounds, here it is:
S . . s S . T t - one cycle
S . . s S . T t S . . s S . T t S . . s S . T t S . . s S . T t - four cycles
Don't worry, the video shows that it's a lot easier than it looks from notation. So watch and listen to the video, play along, as I start with the first hit, and add one hit at at a time, and build it up for you.
I will show you hit by hit, build it up, start really slow for a minute, then moderate for a minute, then faster for a minute. Then, if I am feeling good today, I will play it really fast for a minute, the way they usually play in dance classes.
To play really fast though, you have to do something differently. And you have to switch from dominant to non-dominant hand, to keep from playing too much on one side. I will show you that as well, for those that really get good at it. I might not be able to play it really fast for you, since that has not been my normal playing style, but I will show you, and you are totally encouraged to get better at it than I am! No ego here!
The notation for doing it the other way, would look something like this, starting with alternating sides.
S . . s S . T t - for the first round, starting with dominant hand, then
s . . S s . t T - for the second round, starting with non-dominant, then go back to dominant.
So it would look like this, all together, in rounds of two:
S . . s S . T t s . . S s . t T S . . s S . T t s . . S s . t T S . . s S . T t s . . S s . t T
OK have fun! 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