|Rhythm On The Rock Productions
Videos - Kum Ba Yah - The Djembe
©Rhythm On The Rock Productions
The Djembe; Song Title - Kum Ba Yah, by Paul French
A short demonstration playing the African Drum, Djembe.
Video created March 7, 2007 Running Time 2min 41sec
Click here to listen to Kum Ba Yah. Click here for free Mp3 Download!
This video was taken when Paul was home on leave from Iraq in March of
2007. During our time of recording Kum Ba Yah, I took this video of Paul
playing his Djembe as he was recording along with the piano and conga
tracks previously made for the song. We know there is much interest in the
Djembe, especially in Christian Music. Paul and I felt that this video would be
a great way to demonstrate how to play the Djembe for those who are new
at it. To make the video more enjoyable, I dubbed in our finished recording
of Kum Ba Yah along with his playing.
The most important technique of playing the Djembe is to strike your fist hard
and center of the drum head at each down beat of the music measure.
Slapping the edge or rim of the drum on the 2nd or 4th count of each
measure, is also very important, although, as with this video, Paul had
variations to that basic rule. As with all hand drum playing, the idea is to
create a looped playing pattern that will enhance the song and keep good
timing for the music. The strap around the shoulder takes a little getting used
to as well, but is very important in keeping the drum base up off the floor for
a deep rich sound that fills any room. When playing the Djembe properly,
there should be a deep and resonating sound for each down beat, the rest is
all a matter of ones creativity and experience with the instrument. The main
objective is to have fun and Praise the Lord with your musical talents!!
Christopher W. French
Pronounced (Jem-bay), also known as djimbe, jembe, jenbe, yembe;
It is a skin covered hand drum shaped like a large goblet and is meant to be played with bare hands. It's made of a frame
or shell covered by a membrane or drumhead, made of one of many products, usually rawhide. The djembe originated in
West Africa, where it became an integral part of the area's music and tradition.
As a result of the goblet shape, the density of the wood, the internal carvings, and the skin, there is a wide range of tones
that can be produced by the djembe. The rounded shape with the extended tube of the djembe body forms a device
known in physics as a Helmholtz resonator, giving it the deep bass note. The primary tones are generally referred to as
"bass", "tone" (or open tone), and "slap". Striking the skin near the center with the palm produces a "bass" note; striking
the skin nearer the rim with the fingers flat produces a "tone", and the same position with the fingers relaxed so that the
fingertips snap to the head of the drum produces a "slap". The slap has a high, sharp sound and the tone is more "round"
and full. Other notes exist by pressing down on the drum head with one hand while playing with the other, but only
advanced drummers can consistently create sounds distinct from the others.
Traditionally, djembes are about 12" (30cm) in diameter, varying an inch or two, but can be found in sizes from 5"
(13cm) up to 18" (46cm) depending on the size of the player. The Djembe Paul used in his Journey To Bethlehem album
is 14" in Diameter. One of the most distinct songs to listen for the djembe is, "The Triumphal Entry", which also has a
rhythmic feel and flavor like the theatrical show, Riverdance.
Paul French and the Djembe Drum
Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.
Paul began playing percussion at 8 years old. Standing on wooden
boxes and crates to reach his conga's and drums, Paul studied hard
and used his talents for the Lord. He performed in countless worship
services and programs throughout his 8 years of learning experience
under the guidance and direction of Robby Robinson, keyboard
player and band director for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.