New method to learn soloing on djembe.

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Postby davidpenalosa » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:23 pm

Hi Mathieu,
I missed that this was your book. It’s a pleasure to be speaking directly with the author. I didn’t say the notation was wrong. Like I said, I like the hybrid system you borrowed from Mamady Keita. It’s your counting that’s wrong. I don’t see a count in Mamady Keita’s book. You beam the pulses in groups of four. That’s correct. However, each beamed group should equal one main beat. That’s the purpose of beaming. The way you wrote it, each main beat is subdivided into four pulses: 1e+a. The way you COUNT it however, has two beats per beamed group: 1+2+. I’m guessing that you are counting in the typical cut-time method used in Latin music; a method borrowed from jazz charts, that originated in marching band music.

How do you count the triple-pulse music – 1+2+3+4+5+6+ ?
-David
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Postby mat277 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:37 pm

The count its just a way to bring the people to place the note. It have to be very simple.
Mamady is counting the same way than in my book when he teach. :D

This book is not for professional player who prefer to work whit the traditionelle notation.

I did this book for intermediates and advances players, who cant read the music. But some professional musician told me that they had learn a lot of good thing whit my book.

The count in the ternary book will be 1 + + 2 + + 3 + + 4 + +

Dou you have any sugestion? :D

Sorry for my bad english

Mathieu




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Postby davidpenalosa » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:07 pm

Mathieu:>>Mamady is counting the same way than in my book when he teach. <<

Too bad. Counting is not a traditional component of African drumming. As soon as you use notation or a count, you are using a non-traditional system; you are "translating" the music in order to communicate it to students. You want to be sure that your "translation" is as clear and as accurate as possible.

If that’s how the Master learned how to count, it’s unfortunate because it contradicts the beaming (which is correct). If 1+2+ was the true beat scheme (which it isn’t), the pulses should be grouped in pairs: 1+ 2+

>>This book is not for professional player who prefer to work whit the traditionelle notation.<<

Understood, but you want to make your presentation as clear and as accurate as possible. The notation is very cool, it’s the count that I think you should correct. If you do a second printing, you may want to make that change.

>>The count in the ternary book will be 1 + + 2 + + 3 + + 4 + +
Do you have any sugestion?<<

The counting you wrote above is accurate if you beam the pulses in groups of three. The duple (quadruple)-pulse correlative to this would be:

1 + + + 2 + + + 3 + + + 4 + + +

What does the "+" symbol mean? Usually it signifies "and" - the first offbeat in triple-pulse structure:

1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a

Notice that you have four beats in your sequence of twelve pulses. There should also be four beats in your sequence of sixteen pulses:

1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a

As I’m sure you are aware, if you tap your foot to the four beats, it’s easy to move from the triple-pulse to duple-pulse structure, which is required in some rhythms.
-David




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Postby mat277 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:18 pm

Hi David

The problem whit the count you suggest (binary), its i think, it will bring confusion for the players who are not use to count or read music.

The count i use it is just a tool to place a note at the right place in time. The people who use the method tap foot on 1 and 3 and place the note.

There is no teacher to geave explanation when they begin, it have to be simple and visual.

My method use the same count of this rumba book.




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Postby mat277 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:20 pm

Here is an example of the rumba book

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Postby zaragenca » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:46 pm

I didn't learn the Araras root with africans.I learned with my ancestors with brought the real thing from Africa,they not longer play the real root of anything there,and some of the tribes playing drums over there didn't even know anything about drums during the Araras Empire,(202 BC). the Senegales, are related to the 'Fulanis', which came to West Africa from the North, and later became Muslims,they have never been part of the Araras Civilization,the point is,as I said before,people don't know the african history...Dr. Zaragemca
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Postby davidpenalosa » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:28 am

Hi Mathieu,
There are several issues involved here. This is a list of what I understand to be the matters in question.

1. How many beats per primary cycle or musical period.
2. The number of pules that are beamed together.
3. Which method of counting best aids the student (who we should assume is not formally trained in music).
4. Other books and teachers use the 1+2+3+4+ method, so why aren’t they wrong too?

>> The people who use the method tap foot on 1 and 3 and place the note. <<

Using your method, the student taps their foot four times, but this is the foot count: 1,3,1,3. You agree that there are four main beats per primary cycle, but you don’t tap to a four count. You don’t count to the pulses (smallest subdivisions) either. So, you aren’t counting to the main beats (four), or to the pulses (sixteen).

>>The problem whit the count you suggest (binary), its i think, it will bring confusion for the players who are not use to count or read music.<<

You are counting to an eight-beat cycle (eight beats per period), which unnecessarily confuses things. How is counting to the four main beats - the foot tap AND the emphasis of most accompanying dance steps, more difficult than counting to an incorrect count? I’ve been teaching for thirty years and I’ve never encountered a situation where an incorrect beat count helped a student. In fact, quite the opposite is true; I’ve spent many hours with grateful students who I helped to break this bad habit of counting 1+2+3+4+.

>>The count i use it is just a tool to place a note at the right place in time.<<

Yes it’s just a tool. If you want to teach someone how to hammer a nail, you don’t teach them with a paint brush. You teach them with the correct tool.

>>There is no teacher to geave explanation when they begin, it have to be simple and visual.<<

Your beaming system says that there are four pulses per main beat, but your counting system says that there are two main beats within each set of four pulses. How does using a count that does not match the beaming system you’ve chosen make it more simple visually?

- There is a fundamental disagreement between your beaming and counting systems. -

I think this is the third time I’ve said this. I keep saying it because you have not answered me yet.

>>My method use the same count of this rumba book.<<

Yes it does. Cliff is a great player, but I found his original notation system to be the most confusing of all the instructional books I’ve seen. The method you and Cliff are using comes from the method of writing jazz and salsa charts in cut-time (2/2), BUT using the common-time (4/4) time signature. A lot of confusion has been generated from this practice of not using the literal times signature (count).

That’s starting to change though. There is a growing movement to notate, and thus COUNT, the music correctly. Here are some examples of books with correct notation/counting:

o "Conversations in Clave" by "El Negro" has the charts written correctly in cut-time.
o "The Essential Afro-Cuban Percussion and Drum Set" by Ed Uribe has the charts written correctly in cut-time.

The best way to write the four beats is in a single measure because that way, one measure = one primary cycle, one musical period. Here are some books that write four beats (one cycle of clave) in one measure:

o "Rumba Guaguanco Conversations" by Arturo Rodriguez. Arturo uses box notation, but his count is correct: 1e+a2e+a3e+a4e+a
• "Cajon pa los muertos" by Nolan Warden
o "The Tomas Cruz Conga Method Vols. 1,2,3", written by Kevin Moore. I’m credited with "conceptual guidance" in these books, so naturally, I agree with its notation and counting system. :)
o "The Code of Funk" by David Garibaldi
o "Bata Rhythms from Matanzas, Cuba" Neraldo Duran. Kevin Repp and Vanessa Lindberg revised the original charts done by Bill Summers. Bill used the same count as you. I convinced Kabiosile to re-do the charts, which Kevin and Vanessa agreed would be better. There is now a second printing of the book using the correct notation/count system: four main beats per measure: 1e+a2e+a3e+a4e+a.

-David




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Postby burke » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:52 pm

I totally get the logic of why
1e+a2e+ [etc]
is a more accurate counting method
but for me at any kind of speed it begins to become a mental/verbal tongue twister.
1+2+3+4+
feels more comfortable/natural

Any of your students ever report that David?

and if so is the answer "get over it" or something more profound?

I'll be counting the minutes...

Darrell
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Postby davidpenalosa » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:37 pm

burke wrote:for me at any kind of speed it begins to become a mental/verbal tongue twister.
1+2+3+4+
feels more comfortable/natural
Any of your students ever report that David?

Hi Burke,
In a word - no. You should only count if it helps you grasp the pattern when you first learn it. In that circumstance, you should be playing slow. I can't think of any good reason why a drummer would be playing fast and counting at the same time. If there's a reason to mark the pulses (subdivisions) while playing fast, you can just verbalize single syllables: "ta, ta, ta, ta".

Most drummers don't actually count while drumming, even when they first learn a part. The pulse names (1e, 1+, etc) tend to help the student understand where in time the pattern lays, that is - which pulses, are struck. For example, if I look at a chart and see that 1a and 2+ are struck, it gives me a reference.
-David




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Postby burke » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:48 pm

Thanks David,

I wasn't very clear.

I don't count while playing (heck I don't even tap - which some find strange given my time isn't awful)

I was refering to learning a new pattern slowly - but then that point when when you can begin to speed up a bit and how internal counting in the 1e+a format gets a bit uncomfortable (1+ - not so much).

I usually don't start by counting while just trying something brand new out (couldn't count at that point if I tried)....but take it in stages and stage two usually is with my friend mr. metronome and counting - once comfy - I do indeed stop counting.

anyway, fairly unimportant as long as you get there I guess.

Have enjoyed the thread and your great knowledge and willingness to share as always.

D
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Postby mat277 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:18 pm

Thanks for your explenation Burke.

I think exactly like you.




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Postby burke » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:23 pm

"I think exactly like you."

You poor man! :D :D

BTW - love the drumbazzar in Monteal - great store.
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Postby davidpenalosa » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:27 pm

burke wrote:I was refering to learning a new pattern slowly - but then that point when you can begin to speed up a bit and how internal counting in the 1e+a format gets a bit uncomfortable (1+ - not so much).

OK, but I don't get why counting 1e+a is any more difficult that 1+2+, whatever the speed. Accepting for the moment that some people do find it easier to count 1+2+ at a faster tempo, my advice would be - slow down! :)

If a person finds it easier to employ bad habits at faster tempos, whatever the bad habit is, I say, do whatever you need to do to maintain CORRECT habits. In this case, if you are going to count, use the correct count.
-David
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Postby davidpenalosa » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:29 pm

Mathieu,
Leaving aside the issue of which count to use, you have not addressed the fact that your count choice does not match your beaming choice.
-David
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Postby burke » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:31 pm

Ai I Captain - all ahead slow! :D
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