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How to Learn Djembe Drums in Malta
By:Keith Patrick

Djembe drums date back to the 12th century. They spread throughout the African continent and became a critical part of many cultures. Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Malta have some of the oldest djembe traditions. If you plan to learn djembe drums in Malta, you may have a chance to learn from some of the world's best djembe drummers. Meet as many djembe drummers as you can and ask questions. Taking advice from experienced players will greatly improve your playing.

Learning Djembe Drums

Buy a beginner's instructional book or video series on playing djembe drums. The books will teach you the basic hand formations and rhythm patterns of the djembe.

Videos will help you later in your training when you're learning more advanced patterns and techniques like paradiddles.

Find a drum instructor within Malta. Start by looking through the phone book and asking friends for recommendations. It shouldn't be hard to find a good instructor. Maltese drummers have been perfecting their craft for centuries along with drummers in nearby Morocco. Many families pass down their rhythmic knowledge over generations. You might see a man or woman playing djembe drums outside one day. Ask them if they teach music lessons.

Join a Maltese music group. This shouldn't be very hard as there are a number of musical groups on the island. Most groups play traditional folk music called ghana. A ghana group usually includes several drummers, harp players, and vocalists. Playing with others keeps you motivated. You can also understand the djembe's relationship to other instruments.

Join a drummer's circle. Many drum circles organize in a certain location every week. Drum circles will allow you to exchange knowledge with fellow musicians. If you're having trouble with a specific pattern or hand positioning, a more experienced drummer can probably help you. Ask your djembe music instructor about drum circles on the island. They might be part of one themselves.

Attend Maltese music events like the Malta Carnival. These events may include professional djembe drummers. Watch these drummers closely as they play. Ask them any questions you have on their techniques. If they seem open to helping you, ask if they wouldn't mind watching you play. A few tricks from a professional djembe drummer could work wonders for your playing.

Practice every day. Consistent practice in smaller durations improves your playing more than playing all day sporadically. Play one to two hours each day and you'll notice significant progress.

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