The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rhythm: 2/4 The Ayoub, Kartachi and Bayouk

Ayoub is a very powerful rhythm, with an almost trancelike quality.

It is also spelled Ayyub, Ayoob, etc.

This rhythm, played slowly, is sometimes known as a Zaar.

Ayoub is often associated with the trance dances of the whirling dervishes of the Mevlevi Order, who whirled themselves into a religious ecstasy using the energy of the pounding dums and trance-inducing hypnotic feel of the rhythm.

Ayoub is a 2/4 time beat, with two strong, evenly spaced Doums and two sharp Teks.  The first Tek is played just a bit behind the steady beat, and so it sounds almost as if it is falling or skipping towards the second Doum.  This gives the Ayoub a very driving feel, which blends really well with the trancelike even spacing of the Doums.

Ayoub (2/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

T

D

T

Ayoub is very, very easy to run away with as it is an exciting rhythm.  Pay close attention to your tempo, and try not to speed up.  It is very common to speed up so fast that dancers cannot follow.

Ayoub is an excellent rhythm for dancers, so long as it is tightly controlled.   It gives dancers a good bass for hip and shoulder movements, but plenty of pace for shimmies.

As with all others, learn the Ayoub as a simple count first.   Practice until you can play it while speaking it, or counting.

Literally, say, “Doum   Tek Doum Tek    Doum   Tek Doum Tek”.   It helps!

As for ornamentation, Ayoub has very little space for that, without losing the driving feel and trance groove.    On the plus side, there are a few other rhythms that are based on the Ayoub, that are played with the same beat and feel.

These are the Kartachi and the Bayouk.

Kartachi is a simple inversion of the Ayoub.   It is a bit strange, in that it is one of the rare rhythms that starts with a Tek, and even rarer, ends with a Doum.   But, once you get used to it, Kartachi is a great compliment for Ayoub, and can really freshen the sound of the beat.   Getting used to switching between Ayoub and Kartachi does take a lot of practice, so keep at it.

Kartachi (2/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

T

T

T

D

Bayouk is simply an Ayoub where the second Tek is replaced with a Doum.   It is even bouncier than an Ayoub, and can really get away from a drummer in terms of tempo.   It is very useful for switching up with Ayoub, and adding a bit more bump to a groove.   Be cautious about playing it for too long though, as it can start to feel heavy.

Bayouk (2/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

T

D

D

One thing that I do, for both performances and as a drill, is play:

Ayoub, then Bayouk, then Ayoub, then Kartachi.  Repeat.

It is a good focus for tempo, and great for practicing your Doum to Tek transitions.

And, best of all, it sounds amazingly good.

7 Responses to “Rhythm: 2/4 The Ayoub, Kartachi and Bayouk”

  1. A very cool resource you offer here- I’m sure you’ll be a help to many!
    Kudos to you-

  2. Is it OK to play this using your off-hand “Ka”, instead of dominant hand “Tek”? It seems like it would be more efficient. Or should I be learning it this way to make more advanced fills easier when I get to that point?

    • I would say to learn it both ways. Later on, if you are going to start playing with more fills and rolls, you are going to want to be able to play the frame work with your dominant hand (doums and teks) so that you can do other things with your non dominant hand. Double kas, qarhsi, turkish split finger, separation of senses, and so on.

      When I am playing on a dohola, and simply holding down the low tones and the groove, I do play it with nothing but Ka, because it is efficient. When I am playing the top end with a table or frame drum, I play it straight so my top hand can snap and roll.

  3. I didn’t know the Bayouk!
    Thank you for this very useful website and for putting the notation of the different rhythms!
    Very good!

  4. great place to start! thanks)

  5. Traditionally it is played D kD T. Ka rather than an accented Tek. I am studying with a traditionally trained middle eastern drummer. That is what he teaches and until now I haven’t seen ayoub with 2 Teks.

    • I agree. It is traditionally played with the Ka as the interior accent. I use my Tek and my Ka interchangeably, so I tend to write all of my base notations as only Doum and Tek.

      Playing Ayoud with Teks, and no Ka, is a good drill for speed in switching from the Doum to the Tek, in my experience.


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