The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rhythm: 2/4 The Malfuf and Kahleegi

The Malfuf is a very basic 2/4 groove.

It is one of the very basic beats, and very easy to play in its simple form.

Malfuf is a 2/4 time beat, with a strong lead Doum followed by evenly spaced Teks.  The first Tek is played just a moment after the Doum fades away.    Malfuf is very much about feel, and it is a good idea to play it at first with an experienced drummer.  It is just the slightest bit off from Ayoub, which is one of the reasons why those rhythms compliment each other so well.  Essentially, if your Malfuf sounds like your Ayoub you are playing one of them wrong.

Malfuf (2/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

T

T

Malfuf is a rhythm that begs, begs for ornamentation.  One thing to keep in mind though is that the base beat is all you need when you are playing under other instruments or any player that is performing a solo.   All that great ornamentation that you can put onto a Malfuf just gets in the way of anyone else.  This is also true when drumming for dancers.  Keep your Malfuf spacious with a solid pulse and a nice groove and you will be well on your way to having the other performers love you.

Learn the Malfuf as a simple count first.   Practice until you can play it while speaking it, or counting.

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

Practice until you can play the basic Malfuf while holding a conversation, or listening to other music on the radio.

Once you get there then you should start thinking about ornamentation, and here are a couple of examples.

Malfuf (2/4)

Ornamentation 1 (Doom, Mute and Ka)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

K

M

K

M

M = Mute.   Really briefly, a Mute is played in the same spot as the Doum, but keep your fingers spread, strike with your fingertips gently, and try to keep the fingertips on the drum head after the strike.  It gives a muted Doum sound, perfect as an accent.

Malfuf (2/4)

Ornamentation 2 (Doom, Tek and Ka)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

K

K

T

K

K

T

K

This ornamentation is very busy, and good for building up speed and stamina for your Ka.  You will hear this a lot when other drummers are playing a Malfuf.

The Kahleegi is a very basic 2/4 as well.  It is the companion of the Malfuf, and I have no idea which came first.

Kahleegi is a 2/4 time beat, with a strong lead Doum followed by an evenly spaced Doum and then Tek.  The second Doum is played just a moment after the first Doum fades away.   It has the same feel as Malfuf, and just like Malfuf, if you start to confuse it with an Ayoub (which is very easy to do at first) then slow down, and work on the basic tones.

Kahleegi (2/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

D

T

Be cautious about playing Kahleegi for too long without a break, as it can start to feel heavy.

Learn the Kahleegi as a simple count first.   Practice until you can play it while speaking it, or counting.

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

Here is a simple ornamentation for the Kahleegi.

Kahleegi (2/4)

Ornamentation 1 (Doom, Mute and Ka)

Simple Count

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

K

D

M

M = Mute.   Really briefly, a Mute is played in the same spot as the Doum, but keep your fingers spread, strike with your fingertips gently, and try to keep the fingertips on the drum head after the strike.  It gives a muted Doum sound, perfect as an accent.

This variant has a bit of a swing feel, and it is very easy to find a slow groove with it.   The tempo is important, so practice it at a pace you can play consistently and that sounds good.

Malfuf and Kahleegi Switches.

Swinging the groove both ways.

Practice Exercise

This is a fun way to train your brain to hear the difference an accent can make, and to also learn to play each rhythm with its own feel, even when putting them together to make a larger beat.

As always, practice at a slow, deliberate tempo, and let your tone develop long before your speed does.

Malfuf (2/4)

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

K

T

K

K

T

K

Kahleegi (2/4)

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

K

D

K

K

M

Malfuf (2/4)

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

K

T

K

K

T

K

Kahleegi (2/4)

1

E

&

A

2

E

&

A

D

K

D

M

5 Responses to “Rhythm: 2/4 The Malfuf and Kahleegi”

  1. where are the accents in these two?
    I am hearing them on the first doom and last tek, so

    DOOM – doom – TEK
    DOOM – tek – TEK

    is that right?

    lovely site, btw

    • I play the accent on the 1. A good, solid Doum to let the dancers know exactly where they are in the rhythm.

      If you add further accents for flavor that is fine, but seems to be quite regional in flair. I have heard Turkish players play the Kahleegi with both Doums accented (DOUM – – DOUM – – Tek) while a Persian friend of mine plays Kahleegi with no accents at all. I know a professional cabaret drummer from Egypt who plays Kahleegi with a lot of fills, and only accents the Tek (doum tek tek doum tek tek TEK tek).

      As always, the “right” answer depends on the situation, and if everyone listening enjoys it.

  2. Fantastic explanation and musical notation of the rythms. I’m using your drills to learn how to play.

  3. Another common Kahleegi variation is D kD kTk.

  4. […] as you can see on the Malfuf and Kahleegi page, is basically a 3-3-2. That is, the beats within it can be counted as 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2- very […]


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