The star of the West African percussion ensemble is no doubt the djembe, a “goblet drum” that has become so popular worldwide that it not only appears front and center at most every hippie drum circle, but apparently is a fixture on the pre-school circuit. Want to learn to play the djembe? First, learn the basic tones:

: (palm on middle of drum), gun/dun (right/left)
TONE: (closed fingers on edge, lift hand), go/do (right/left)
SLAP: (fingertips on edge of drum, pads below fingers hit rim, fingers apart), pa/ta (right/left)

Then, follow x8drums’ advice about how to buy your first djembe, buy the darned thing — buy your drum from close friend of AATW, djembe master Michael Markus and Wula Drum!, then DRUM! For inspiration, YouTube is crawling with master drummers: Aruna and Brulye | Sega Cisse | Abraham Mensah | Lamin Jassey, who really wants to teach you how to play (the lesson starts at about 1:15)

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