4/4 Warmup #1 - Lesson.
4/4 WARMUP #1
4/4 WARMUP #1 - Slow
Notes and Notation
Djembe Warmup number one. This is one of the best drills I know. It is easy to learn, involves all three basic sounds, and is fun to play. I suggest playing one of the drills (at least) for 2 minutes a day, up to 5 minutes a day. Pay attention to your sound. Make sure each sound is clear and strong, both with your left and right hands.
These drills are SUPER valuable for improving your playing. Melody is a SUPER valuable skill to have. If you do this drill, and nothing else, with full intent and attention to improving your sound, you will be a much better drummer in just a few weeks.
In this 4/4 rhythm, (maybe it's an 8/8) you start with three tones, then three slaps, then two basses. That way, we practice all three sounds, starting left a right, and switching from each sound to next. It's a good one.
So this is how it looks in notation, for people that like that sort of thing:
T t T . s S s . B . . . b . . . - one cycle
T t T . s S s . B . . . b . . . T t T . s S s . B . . . b . . . - two cycles
T = Tone with your dominant hand
t = tone with non-dominant
S = Slap with your dominant hand
s = slap with your non-dominant hand
B = Bass with your dominant hand
b = bass with your non-dominant hand
Of course, there are tons of variations. Like you can swing it, meaning you space the first two hits a little further apart, making the second hit a little closer to the next pair. But it's better to just watch and listen to the video to get the feel of each variation I play for you. This is a good one.
Remember, you only need to play for 10 minutes a day to improve like lightning, so DO IT! The faster you learn and get good, the faster I have someone else to drum with!
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