“Djembe 101” is a beginning instructional djembe book, DVD and 78 track play along CD. Liz developed the book while teaching at Lake Tahoe Community College. Having the consistency of hundreds of students enrolled in twelve week classes year after year, gave her valuable insight into some of the obstacles a beginning student faces when learning how to play the djembe drum and the West African rhythms that accompany it.
The two biggest challenges Liz has observed in her students are technique, (getting a distinction between the open tone and the slap) and timing (understanding down beat and the feel of the rhythms).
These challenges are addressed in “Djembe 101”. By studying and applying the tools provided, you will develop better technique and a greater understanding of timing on the djembe drum. When you gain these skills you will have an easier time remembering West African rhythms and also sharing them with others.
Whether this book is your first introduction to the djembe drum, or is adding to your ongoing rhythmic journey, my hope is that you develop a greater foundation on this instrument, thereby inspiring you to pursue more knowledge from the master drummers – there is no substitute. “Djembe 101 is designed to provide you with important foundational material that will support your ongoing studies with the Masters. And when your skill ability on the drum goes up, so does the fun meter!
“Djembe 101” presents 5 complete lessons:
Lesson One – Basics: Getting the fundamental sounds ( bass, open tone and slap ) and learning the language of Gun, Dun, go, doe, Pa, Ta
Lesson Two – Rudiments: Getting your hands to flow better on the drum
Lesson Three – Timing: Downbeat, subdivisions, syncopation, moving 16th notes and the “foot thing”
Lesson Four – Understanding Music Notation: Music notation and time meters 4/4 and 12/8 and sticking
Lesson Five – Play Along Exercises: Fun exercises to play along with audio CD rhythm track
All exercises presented in the book are written in a simple, easy to understand notation.
All exercises are demonstrated by Liz on the DVD.
The play along CD allows you to have fun playing all the exercises over supporting dunnun rhythm tracks at slow, medium and fast tempo’s. This is a great tool for developing your timing and feel.
Praise for Djembe 101
“Awesome!!! Absolutely great package for starting djembe players. A book, DVD and CD that is really exceptional. I love the way the exercises and rudiments alternate left and right – paradiddles, flam taps and accents. I am going to make time to practice along with you, I can use some “time” on the djembe for sure. I particularly liked the way you handled the feel aspects, “pulse”, and the play along section is also well done, short and to the point”.“Liz, Fantastic! You are playing your ass off on the bonus tracks! I’m proud of you girl, you have found your calling and passion…the way you are giving to students present, past and future is a real inspiration“.
– Tom Roady – Professional Studio Percussionist
“Finally someone did it! Liz has created the best system for learning the djembe I’ve seen in my 30 years as a professional drummer and instructor. “Djembe 101” is the “missing link” we’ve all been waiting for — a way to prepare yourself to enjoy the world of African rhythms available to you from the masters. It’s organized, well thought-out, and comprehensive — best of all it makes practicing by yourself fun and easy. The CD and DVD are top quality and Liz does a great job demonstrating techniques and exercises. I truly believe “Djembe 101” is the real deal and destined to become the standard of all Djembe books — a must have for anyone who wants to learn how to play this drum“.
– Dean Rossi – Drummer and student