Kuku Part 2 - Lesson
Kuku Part 2 - Fast
Kuku Part 2 - Medium
Kuku Part 2 - Slow
Notes and Notation
Part 2 for Kuku is a bit faster, and some people find it a little harder to learn. But I am going to break it down to single hits, and layer one by one to build it up for you. It will be easy, especially when you hear it and watch me. I will start slow for a minute, then moderate for a minute, then faster for a minute. And with the breaks in between, it will give you a good feeling for how to play it in a group.
Kuku is the first rhythm I teach, because it is so commonly used in circles and performances. If you know these, you can usually sit in to most circles and feel comfortable and have fun.
This part 2 for Kuku is the one people call the "Kuku for Cocao Puffs" rhythm, because it sounds exactly like that TV jingle for cereal.
This is how it goes...
First, play two Tones.
Then a little space.
Then a Slap, two Tones, and a Slap.
Watch and listen to the video to get it right. I will break and down to the first two hits, then add in the hits one by one as seems logical. Then we go really slow, then moderate, then pretty fast, to show you the speed that might be used at better drum circles.
If you are into the notation for some reason, here it is for you:
T t . S t T s . - one cycle
T t . S t T s . T t . S t T s . T t . S t T s . T t . S t T s . - four cycles
This one can sound very easy when it's slow, but it really picks up, it can make your arms burn from the exercise, and that's a good thing. But beware, it's easy to get it all bunched up, and you need to focus on keeping the tones well spaced, because they are actually the part that is most important.
So let's drum! 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