How To Play Djembe
Here are a few rhythms we've put down to help you. We're adding to this section slowly.
1. 'Albongo' and the call - Easy (This page)
2. Kuku - Intermediate
Song #1 - 'Albongo' and learning the Call
This song can be played by one djembe and consists of:
- An introduction ('the call'),
- The basic rhythm
- An ending (or 'call out').
1. The Call
The call (also called a break) is a short rhythmical phrase played by either the soloist or the entire group at the beginning of the song. It is a starting signal and is usually a quite expressive, introducing the song and setting the starting tempo. The same call or a variation is often played as a break in the middle or at the end to 'call' everyone out. There are many variations of the call in djembe drumming.
The call is shown in the chart below. Beginners may find it quite challenging. Persevere and you'll get it!
2. The Rhythm - Albongo
3. The Ending Call
The call at the end has one extra note, right at the end, which is actually on the 1 count of the next bar. It is a slap and finishes off the song.
All Together Now
Now play the whole song, starting with the call, then the rhythm (which you can play any number of times) and finally the Ending Call to finish the song.
Your first song! Congratulations!