The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rhythm: 4/4 The Saidi

The Saidi

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

It also has various spellings, usually Sai’idi or Saaidi.   Saidi is a bit strange in traditional music, as it seems to be a bit of a dumping ground for variations.  Essentially, any of the 4/4 rhythms that have a “Doum Doum” in the middle are considered Saidi.

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 Saidi is a simple 4/4 time beat, with strong Doums and good Teks for accents.   It is a bit tricky, in that the “Doum Doum” in the middle can easily lead you to speed up your tempo, and get out of synch with other players.   On the plus side, it is a nice compliment to Beledi, and a good strong finisher for beats.

Saidi (4/4)

Basic (Doom and Tek)

Simple Count

1

&

2

&

3

&

4

&

D

T

D

D

T

The key to the groove and sound of Saidi 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.

Saidi 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   Doum Doum  Tek” as you play.  It helps!

Practice until you can play the basic Saidi 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 Saidi”

  1. I have a couple bellydance CDs, and it seems like the great majority of what I hear is based on Saidi.

    • It is a very popular rhythm because it is very easy to follow along. The double doum acts as an attention getter, and gives the saidi a bit of a bounce, and some energy.

  2. Thanks for the awesome page/explanation and artistic work


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