Jembe resources: People, Rhythms, Drums & Media

I’ve chosen to concentrate on resources available to those drummers who are outside of academic settings, and who do not have access to major cultural centers. This work is informed by my many years living in West Texas, New Mexico, and throughout California, as well as by my travels and stays, sometimes lasting several months, throughout the western U.S. from Seattle to Santa Fe. I’m not attempting to be comprehensive, but rather to list a few sites which have proven useful over many years. The first drum I bought was a djembe, and the djembe (with its associated tradition of specific repertory) is one of the most popular in the U.S. So these links should be especially relevant to our djembe discussion, but not exclusively.I have identified three key resources. In keeping with the traditional wisdom of every great teacher, the first thing an un-connected drummer needs to do is to locate a teacher and/or a drumming community. For me, at least, the next concern is overcoming memory’s shortcomings by utilizing learning aids such as systems of notation. Not all teachers will let you record, and without retention practice becomes impossible. As for actual drums, often they can be borrowed or improvised, so I’ll deal with that topic last. In that section I will address both drums and media resources for drum & dance.

Matthew Hill

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