Proper Djembe Technique

This video shows proper Djembe Technique for bass, open tone, and slap. Also watch BUILD YOUR DRUM SKILLS:

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Recommended Production Gear:
Video Cameras:
Audio Recorder:
Audio Shotgun Mic:
Camera Shotgun Mic:
Main Tripod:
Second Tripod:
Overhead Camera Clamp:
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Books by Kalani:
All About Congas:
All About Bongos:
All About Jembe:
All About Hand Percussion:
West African Drum & Dance:
Together in Rhythm:
The Amazing Jamnasium:
Recorders in Rhythm:
Kalani’s World Rhythms:
The Way of Music:

Videos by Kalani
Drum Fun – Musical Games for Groups:
Play Ukulele:
Play Cajon:
Play Congas:
The Drum Circle – A Musical Approach:
Hula for Life:

Recommended Drums & Accessories:
Large Conga:
Medium Conga:
Small Conga:
Professional Conga Bag:
Small Deluxe Conga Bag:
Large Deluxe Conga Bag:
Small Talking Drum:
Rope Tuned Ashiko:
Cajon Package:
Lap Top Cajon:
Siam Fantasy Cajon:
Dark Iris Cajon:
Traditional Style Djembe:
Traditional Marble Finish Djembe:
Traditional Pro Djembe:
Pro Finish Traditional Djembe:
11” Djembe Replacement Head:
Professional Ksing Ksing for Djembe:

Recommended Hand Percussion:
Headedless Tambourine:
Headed Tambourine:
Moon Tambourine:
Cow Bell:
8” Triangle:
10” Triangle:
Red Guiro – Plastic:
Rumba Claves:
Hardwood Claves:
Temple Block:
Small Caxixi:
Gold Aluminum Tube Shaker:
Bamboo Rain Stick:
Fiberglass Shaker:
Merengue Guira:


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  • What a great lesson! Learning the djembe can feel like a daunting task and you explain it so simply, clearly and concisely. Loving your lessons online. Thank you and cheers from one drum teacher (I teach drumset) to another!

    Josh Lane June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • hey kalani, i have a small drum head. it’s 10 inches in diameter. how should i play bass tone on a smaller drum? just strike it until i get a proper sound?

    ohmygoddahal June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Amen …to that post…TY…very helpful

    Leslie Cunliffe June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • no

    Karen Robertson June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • this is my dads computer and im only 8 and i dont get it at all and im african

    Luis Fermin June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Hey alright! Excellent instruction. Thanks so much for providing this video. It was really helpful.

    Timothy Fahlen June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • I haven’t drummed for years and this is a great place to start, doing it right from the beginning! Thank you!

    Barb De Rousie June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Hi. Your videos are best to learn. I would soon contribute from my end. I have an 8 inch djembe which I bought to start off with. My slap tone sounds identical to open tone. Is it the size of djembe or I may be making mistake in playing? For practice I make slap tone with just index finger near the rim.

    Sagar Gopale June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Thank you for your teaching , sir 🙏😇

    jyotendrasinh gohil June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Thanks ! Really helpful

    Jungle Fusion June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Do people really go around disliking vids on youtube? thats sad😬🙁

    SuperdudePlayz June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • I have trouble getting a tone. I restrung my drum several years ago and I get a very echoey bass and a bright slap but I'm not sure where my tone is.

    Lisa Vulovich June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Hello, just wondering why the bass can't be "booming" or "boomy?"

    Lisa Vulovich June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • thank my music teacher for getting you a new fan

    Alexzander Albritton June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Very well explained . Tnx!

    Vero_Nika June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • trans a lot …this is amazing

    Magda Velichkovska June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • What do you think about djembe stands?

    David McAninch June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Should the base of the djembe be flat on the ground, or should the drum be tilted while playing?

    Ashley McConnell June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Open and Slap look exactly the same but sound completely different! It’s insane?!? Wonderful lesson. Thank you very much! 🙌🏼

    Michael Farrer June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • i love to make it boom. Don't stick? what if that is the sound I want? quick and muted. I often hit mine right in the middle with my thumb just to make it boom. I've looked through a lot of this guy's vids and don't find any of him actually playing. No solo playing, not playing with other drummers or playing behind other musicians. Having a drum like this is more than playing in drum circles. t's about making music. if you like a sound, use it. just play your drum and listen. the drum will teach you how to play it.

    Jack Hammer June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Please, Just stop while you’re ahead, you are not what you think you are which is not what you think this is and there is no reason for you to do this except to stroke your own ego and by the way stop immediately cause it’s not for you to teach just get out while you can! Peace and love.

    Timothy Bowman June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • great, straight forward teaching 😊👍🏼

    taylormadeaudio June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • i usually switch to next video but interesting enough to watch all of your video thks for demo and tips!

    sly June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Hey Maestro, I was remembering a great instructional video you produced many years ago, came with diagrams of several boxes laid out in that African box style instead of western notation, so cool and so practical. Was that one called African rhythms, the video? But meanwhile a general technique question; as in the conga open slap, Isn’t the sharp higher tone produced actually by the heel of the palm striking the drum edge first, resulting in a ricochet of those loose fingers, same principle as the finger snap? That’s always how I did it on congas but no one mentions that angle!

    Ron Robbins June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • theres no wrong way to play a Drum..wat ever feels good to the player is fine…Its about having fun…Music comes from inside..As the sound does from the DRUM….

    John Brugos June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Could you please say what is the recommended size for beginners?

    bob spearz June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • What is the reason for never tilting the drum toward yourself?

    mentilly all June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • What is the size of your djembe sir?

    dredslike rasta June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • You should explain why it is done that way and not other ways. For instance, what is wrong with a boom sound for bass if that is what you are going for. And so on. You tell instruction but not explanation.

    Benjamin Lupton June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • 👏🏼😂😉

    森田. Morita淳一郎 Junichiro June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • When I first started playing the Djembe drums I started looking at YOUTUBE videos and most of the so called teachers, I mean most don't know what they are doing.
    It takes a long time to properly play this drum.

    maraka don June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • Ok

    Shelby Kruse June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • To watch djembe players follow @tryambakamdramatics on instagram

    Shalini Gupta June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply
  • what drum to buy for starters

    Łukasz Górski June 17, 2020 3:38 am Reply

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