The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rhythm: 4/4 The Maqsum

The Maqsum

Maqsum is another of the rhythms in the “Beledi Family”.

It also has various spellings, usually Maksuum, Maqsuum, or Maksum.   Many music instructors see Maqsum as the basic 4/4 for Middle Eastern rhythms.   Not sure what came first, but all four of the basic “Beledi Family” rhythms are played on the same beats, just with different strikes.

The Maqsum is a simple 4/4 time beat, with strong Doums and good Teks for accents.   It is pretty easy to add ornamentation (read: faster, sharper notes in between the basic beats) to the Maqsum and some drummers find its pattern easier to remember when starting.

Maqsum (4/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count

1

&

2

&

3

&

4

&

D

T

T

D

T

The key to the groove and sound of Maqsum is to not hurry, and to have a good, deep Doum on the “1” and the “3”, and a clean, sharp Tek on the “4”.

It is a really simple beat, and easy to learn in about 20 minutes time.

Maqsum is a great practice exercise for learning to transition from Doum to Tek with your dominant hand.  It varies really well with Beledi, leading to very basic compositions.

I really believe you should practice the basic rhythm, with no ornamentation, until your tone is perfect, and you can play while counting it out, or while speaking it.

Literally, say, “Doum Tek   Tek Doum  Tek” as you play.  It helps!

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

Once you get there then you should start thinking about ornamentation.

2 Responses to “Rhythm: 4/4 The Maqsum”

  1. One variation is to play a Ka on the 2 and on the 3&. If you do fill with Ka remember that the 1& is an accented Tek but the 3& is a Ka.

  2. replace tek by sak, add some kas and join with a tek ka the end, something like DSk SDk Stk … looks great!


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