Kuku Part 3 - Lesson
Kuku Part 3 - Faster
Kuku Part 3 - Medium
Kuku Part 3 - Slow
Notes and Notation
Part 3 for Kuku is one of the easy ones for many people. It only involves bass and tone sounds.
First, a Bass, then another Bass.
Then two Tones, separately.
Then two Tones, closer together.
Watch and listen to the video to get it. It's a good one, starting slow and getting faster, just like it sounds. Here is what it looks like in notation, for those that like that:
B . . . b . . . T . t . T t . . - one cycle
B . . . b . . . T . t . T t . . B . . . b . . . T . t . T t . . B . . . b . . . T . t . T t . . B . . . b . . . T . t . T t . .
People seem to remember it best when I say it like this:
"Slow Slow, Fast and Faster."
Each syllable is a hit on the drum, and at the speed that you would say those words.
So, however you can remember it at the start, use your favorite method. But my method, and the way that Africans remember these rhythms, is by hearing them a thousand times as they are growing up, in the womb and around the village, until it's in your blood. These Kuku parts are worth knowing that well. Memorize them, not by straining to remember by notation or words I gave you, but by playing them, over and over and over. Hell why not? It's fun!
Also, as you play this part, and any other part, please take the full opportunity, to listen to your own sound, and get those three distinct sounds down, solid, clear, and differentiated. Make the Bass, Tone, and Slap your devoted servants, so you can call them up perfectly anytime you want.
The more you learn that now, the more you will enjoy drumming later, impress people, and get those booties shaking on dancers wherever you go!
You with me? 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