A Fast 6/8 Rhythm: Djembe tutorials with Bruce Harding

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A video to help you learn my favourite way of playing in six.


mawddawg says:

can teach a 6/8 persian beat

MelodicArts says:

Yes, Bembe itself is Cuban, which as you say grew out of West African rhythms. That’s the traditional rhythm I’ve found to be closest to the rhythm which I play on this video.

Jon Weaver says:

I’ve never heard of that so I assume it is not a Malinke or Susu rhythm from Guinea Conakry…a quick search on google seems to suggest it is a Cuban rhythm. Either way this is an important technique in West African 12/8 rhythms (which is where Cuban rhythms developed from anyway)

Jon Weaver says:

As a side-note it is worth pointing out that with the odd exception the djembe parts cannot identify the rhythm, since the same djembe parts appear in many different rhythms. It is the duns that identify the rhythm. Specifically it is usually the sangban that holds the melody. A good example are dundun ba rhythms. There are many distinct rhythms in this family but the djembe and kenkeni are always the same. It is the sangban that tells you whether you are playing dunungbé, Konowulen or Takosaba.

MelodicArts says:

Agreed, Jon. It is a variation of Bembe, which some drummers call “the mother rhythm” of West African drumming.

Jon Weaver says:

I’ve seen this (or very similar variations) played as both accompaniment and as a kind of solo ride in Soko, Tiriba and Wassolonka to name three. So it’s an important 6/8 rudiment in West African djembe drumming.

Detroit Bullet says:

thanks for the poly rythm demonstration these are so important to get into trans states

1001Elisaveta says:

Thank you very much. So nice, slow and understandable!!! Great!

ahbalone says:

I can do it when I copy your playing, but not thru your word. Good either way.

MelodicArts says:

Thanks, Nikki!

Nikki E says:

Your tutorials are by far the best ones I have found so far! Thank you so much for making it so simple!!

Nima Tajbakhsh says:


dejniall says:

awesome videos bro!
keep ’em coming 🙂

Im2pimpin says:

What is this rhthym called? Is it a real traditional african or is it just a simplification?

Ray Kamp says:

I use my ring for an additional sound.

chrishansen1100 says:

love how you teach….it would be great if you could show a samba and a regaee pattern..thank you for the videos!

ZIrani1 says:

great video please post more youre a master at teaching 🙂

paauggie says:

you’re a fantastic teacher. Thanks loads

gunslingerfire says:

Where do you put the firewood?

Xokkeikatt says:

A friend of mine went to West Africa and came back with a rhythm he learned from a tribe that he taught us called the “crocodile” . This rhythm is exactly the same rhythm. We sing with it
“Ya de ya de ya…. ba ma yay….., Sa su la de bama…., ko de la toe yay.” ( wish I could show how it is sung.

Normthedrummer says:

Nice work! I also have a couple of wee videos showing some basic djembe moves. Thanks, Norm the Drummer.

MelodicArts says:

Hi Benny. My wedding ring doesn’t come off anymore, and is slim so it has never caused any damage. Yes, I agree, it is always best to remove rings.

bennyblant says:

One lesson for you.. Don’t play with a ring or whatever on your hands.. it may brake your djembe membrane, or even make your finger bleed. Other then that.. coool

Angel Black says:

i love the way you learn how to play on my djembé!!i want more of you lessons!!!grtz

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