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Handwork — Why is it important what hand I use?

When playing a single drum in front of you, one of the most important decisions the player is constantly confronted with is what hand to use for a given stroke and why. As a teacher, the correction I give most often regards hand sequence. Why is it important what hand to use?

First, each particular combination of right and …

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Rhythm Tip – Afoxé

Rhythm Tip #1

This is a bell pattern for the Afro-Brazilian rhythm Ijexa’ (pronounced “ee jay shah”), which is part of the Candomble’ religion. The rhythm is also known as Afoxe’ (see glossary) and has had wide dissemination through the Carnaval group “Sons of Ghandi”, one of the oldest and largest Afro groups to parade through the streets of Salvador …

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Rhythm Tip – Samba Reggae

Rhythm Tip #2


This pattern is part of several rhythm styles from the northeast of Brazil and is played on a variety of instruments including tamborim, agogo, and caxia as well as guitar and keyboards. It is a very simple and elegant way of getting the clave feeling and the “up beat” feeling in one pattern. It is probably best …

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Slap Happy

The so called “slap” sound is one of the dominant sounds of the conga and djembe. The technique can be applied to nearly any drum and many other surfaces. I use it on pandiero, surdo, repinique, timbau, ashiko, dumbec, frame drum, boxes, chairs, table tops …

Many people struggle to make the sound. I believe it is really one of …

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