Introduction to West African Drumming

Ref: C2523924

We will study one or more traditional rhythm pieces originating from the Mande or Malinke culture of Guinea and Mali. We will learn the fundamental skills to play djembe (hand drums) and dunun (bass drums played with sticks). No experience is required or assumed but musical skills or experience will be useful.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to West African drumming playing traditional rhythm pieces and instruments

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Play bass tone and slap sounds on the djembe
  • Play one or more bass drum and bell parts for a traditional rhythm
  • Play djembe accompaniments for a traditional rhythm
  • Play some simple djembe solo phrases
  • Understand the cultural background and use of the rhythm we are learning

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • I may provide links to online resources of interest for students to follow up if they like.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Opportunities to perform with the Drummed Up group or attend workshops with African teachers

Download full course outline

Introduction to West African Drumming Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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