A Lesson on Yankadi

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(So)FUNnY WITHOUT KNOWING
Don't miss the bone cracking metaphor.
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Full Blue In Progress

I heard All Blues for the first time when I was a kid
Years later, listening to it again with my djembe experience background made me feel an obvious link with west-african three beats grooves. I had to try something. 
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Try Yourself With A Bass Djembe

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Rhythms, sound, technique…
Sometimes it's just good to play it simple. Time to take some rest with speed, sharp slaps and other killer licks.
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Improving Your Inspiration

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Playing is not housekeeping.
Generally students try to improve their playing by mastering timing, phrasing, and tone quality. This is a working approach. It allows you to concentrate on specific aspects that participate in making the whole thing sounds as it should. Although necessary, it's certainly not the definitive approach, it's not enough. 
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Dunumba - The Unknown Pattern

I am challenging you!
If you already heard that ending displaced pattern on Dunumba, give me a name.
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Great Djembe Solos - Koungbanan CONDE | 4/4

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LESS IS MORE
This solo doesn't come with all the fancy ingredients of today's players (tight tuning - high level - double-tempo patterns) but every measure of this solo, the way patterns blend into each other with logic and humor, reminds all of us what playing with rhythm really is.
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More About My Bell Technique

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More bell
The technique I developed on bells to obtain certain embellishments comes from natural effects of relaxed movements. The first thing is to avoid the eight bit sound quality too many people seem to take for a standard. An african bell should not sound like a pen on a desk!
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Manu SISSOKO - Teaching African Dance

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There is not much to add
Nice video, smart analysis... Keep on the good work Manu SISSOKO!
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Easy Kakilambe

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Some grooves are difficult to play because of structure, phrasing, speed.
Some are easy because their individual parts just blend nicely already without the use of advanced skills. I arranged EASY KAKILAMBE for three djembes with this option in mind.
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Liquid Playing

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When can we play liquid?
In accompanying situations, basic djembe patterns are expected to be played with a steady groove. I call this "solid" grooves. In other situations - intro, long rests from the soloist, solo situation - playing "liquid" is a better choice.
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Coordination VS Independence

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Weedie BRAIMAH on dununs
I believe choice of words can do a lot to clarify what a student should look for. That's why I think educational material talking about "independence" is bringing unnecessary confusion or even worse: unreachable expectations. Independence is a myth that we, musicians, try to make the listener believe in. Students don't need this. Independence is a state of no relationship between different entities. On the contrary coordination is the ability to execute different actions linked by a specific goal. We have only one brain so it's somehow more limited than two separate parts coordinating themselves but there are some tricks that allow the musician to play several parts at once giving the illusion of independence.

This is what Weedie BRAIMAH does on dununs in the above video.
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Djembe Tutorial | Playing On Beats

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In some situations masters and beginners play the same patterns.
The most obvious is when playing basic rhythms. There are differences in sound, phrasing and general vision of the music but the patterns are identical. It happens in a solo context too.
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It Can't Be Worse Than This

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Is this funny or sad?
I know that at our Facebook period of times we use to just say "I like" or nothing, but please, don't "play" like this... Or maybe somebody could try it faster?
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Dunun Tutorial

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DOING SOMETHING WITH THE BELL
One of the things that often bores me about how djembe music is played outside of Africa is the low level of bell playing. In this video I demonstrate some of the techniques I use and teach.
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Dunun Tutorial | Dunumba | Kenkeni

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The Kenkeni pattern of Dunumba is one of the trickiest rhythms
It will enable you to experience the power of displacement and discover the equal musical value of inner beats in djembe music.
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