Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Djembe

I've never given a thought to percussion. I have dabbled in the piano, the guitar, and learned to sing harmony in the choir, but for some reason the thought of percussion being part of the "music" had escaped me. That is, I hadn't until I heard a guy sit and play the djembe. It blew me away, and I instantly wanted to learn to play that instrument. Only three or so things stood in my way:

1) My perceived inherent lack of serious rythmn.
2) The "Africanness" of the djembe: I didn't want to look like a poseur.
3) I didn't own a djembe nor know anyone who did.

I finally swallowed my excuses, bought a djembe, and even though I may be a rhythmnless white dude from rural America, I love it. I can, sort of, keep 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 time now. I'm still working on really playing, which means hearing and replicating cool "grooves.".

Anyway, I thought I'd include a video for your enjoyment of what a skilled djembe player can make it do. It's marvelous. Her name is Adjoa Skinner, and I think that this is a combination of three African folk songs which means "For all that you have done for me, I thank you everyday, I thank you all my life." I suspect that it is a sort of folk worship song.

And no, I can't play this well. Not even close. And I can't smile that pretty, either.

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