djembe questions after paralounge

Good morning Mr. Helm
I really appreciate your style and approach to drumming. I have a question
about the use of the djembe when playing with North American music. Would
you take your djembe to practically any musical setting, or is there a more
versitile drum?

Thanks, Rick

Hello Rick,
the djembe is a very versatile drum. I prefer it with most styles of music. It can be played in the traditional style of many different kinds of music. If it is folk music or pop, the downbeat in the middle of the drumhead serves to ground the music much like a conventional drumset. I teach that the downbeat occurs at the beginning of each repeated pattern. Like on the “one” if you are counting in four or in three. In native American the downbeat is still appropriate. It even works in jazz and Celtic. I love it.
Let me know if there are any other questions. Enjoy and share the groove!
Russell Buddy Helm

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