The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rhythm: 4/4 The Nawari

The Nawari

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

Nawari, strangely, doesn’t seem to have too many alternate spellings.

The Nawari is a simple 4/4 time beat, with strong Doums and good Teks for accents.   It is a bit of a weird one, in that it starts with a “Tek”.  The vast majority of Middle Eastern beats start with “Doum”, so Nawari can be a bit tricky at first.  It is easy to lose your place without the solid “Doum” on the 1.  However, its very strangeness makes it a great change of pace from the Beledi and Saidi, and makes it very useful for keeping a rhythm sounding fresh and lively.

Nawari (4/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count














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

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

Nawari is a great practice exercise for learning to transition from Doum to Tek with your dominant hand.

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

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

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

3 Responses to “Rhythm: 4/4 The Nawari”

  1. This is a great rhythm. Nice at 80-90 bpm.

  2. I did”nt know this one, but once I learned it I used it in a song, in a group with accordian and clarinet, and it really works out nicely. I mixed the Nawari, and Gawazi rhythms, to create a nice flow with the groove…….

    • Nawari and Ghawazee are a lot of fun to play.

      Keep in mind that most middle eastern drummers will call these “Maqsum” or “Saidi”. It is easy to get confused, and I am certainly not the end all and be all for providing definitions.

      We call these Nawari and Ghawazee because that is easier than saying, “Give me a Maqsum, but transpose the first Doum with the first Tek!”

      Both of these rhythms get really, really fun when you start adding rolls, fills, and pops into them.

      Try adding a Double Ka between the Tek and the Doum. Throw in a pick up roll on the 4 and roll that into the Tek on the 1, and now you are really cooking. Belly dancers actually begin to flock to you.

      Have fun!

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