The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

About The Troupe

This blog is about transformation.

In my case from an amateur drummer (which is what I am), into a professional drummer (which is what I want to be).

It is also about forming a drum group, and all that goes into making a group of beginners into a performing troupe.

I will do my best to detail our practices, workshops, rehearsals and performances.  Every now and then I will also explain how, or why, we are doing these things to begin with.

Welcome to a an inside view, as it happens, from the eyes of someone learning as he goes, as we try to make this work.

11 Responses to “About The Troupe”

  1. Just found this tonight after viewing Fasial Zedan’s lovely derbakki instructional DVD and
    Googling “Separation of senses.” Ohmigosh–how great to find you doing this!
    Thank you!

    • Thanks! Obviously Fasial is an amazing player, and that video of his inspired me to work on this technique. It provides a great counter point/top end to the drumming we do as a troupe.

      Thanks for the feedback, and good luck with your practice and playing!

  2. I love this idea, but it could use a little expansion, to include a few other prominent beats used in dance compostions, such as Kashilamar 9/8, fallahi 2/4, or even some challenge with the Somai 10 beat…… Then maybe add some way of addressing, some additional garnishments, and how to create an authenic feel…

    • All of the various Fallahi(s) will be a post that I write soon, once I get time to actually write again. We have been too busy performing to have a lot of spare time to do anything but rest, and chores, and such.

      In short, all the Fallahi(s) are the 4/4 Maqsum/Saidi/Beledi family rhythms that are played double time, or in 2/4. They are used frequently as fills in solo pieces, and often heard in the intro and exit beats for songs. Fallahi is a strange beast (as are many of these multiple time signature rhythms) because the difference in a 2/4 Fallahi and a 4/4 Maqsum is simply a matter of the speed at which it is played… in theory. In actual practice there is a difference in feel as well, not just in tempo. But the actual striking patterns are the same.

      Like I said, there is definitely a whole post to be written about just Fallahi.

      As to the odd meter rhythms, (7/8’s, 9/8’s, 6/8’s, and 5/4’s, etc…) we simply never use them in drumming for live dancing. They are not very good for the coordinated movements in American Tribal Style, in which most of the movements are counted in sets of four. Also if the dancers (or the drummers) lose that Almighty Pulse on the 1, then things quickly break down. We tried a few for a short time, but would often get the panicked look from the dancers, and just swap back into the 2/4, 4/4, or 8/4 rhythms to get the pulse and groove back in synchronicity.

  3. Hi, just wanted to say thank you so much for this blog! I am a dancer, and I found your explanations of the different rhythms to be incredibly helpful and easy to understand!! Thanks a lot!!

  4. I just started playing Darbuka. very nice blog. Thanks for the info. Stijn


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