The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rhythm: 4/4 The Sombati

The Sombati

Sombati is another of the rhythms in the “Beledi Family”, and is really a very simple variation on Maqsum.

The Sombati is a simple 4/4 time beat, with strong Doums and good Teks for accents.   Sombati is very popular, especially in soundtracks.   I notice it all the time as the “go to” background music to let the viewer know that we have moved our scene to an Arabian setting.  Pretty campy used that way, but it explains why it seems so familiar.

Sombati (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 Sombati is to not hurry, to have a good, deep Doums on the “1” and the “3”, a very distinct sense of space between the Doum on the “1” and the Tek on the “2”, and a clean, sharp Tek on the “4”.

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

Sombati is a great practice exercise for learning to transition from Doum to Tek with your dominant hand. That double Tek is a bit tricky at first, but once you get it, sounds very nice.  It varies really well with Maqsum and Saidii, 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 Sombati while holding a conversation, or listening to other music on the radio.

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

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