PAPITA - djembé rhythms

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version 02/2012

Instructions / explanation for the notation used  :

Notes:
to tone
ta slap
tou bass
flam a subdued sound, place one hand on the bass and slap with the other hand
fla slap with both hands, where one hand slaps a fraction later than the other
   
Hand to use:
d d=right (fr: d=droit)
g g=left (fr: g=gauche)
   
orange the base rhythm is indicated in orange, an example: the rhythm patapetipa is a binary rhythm. After the call (fr: appel) you start first with a 'ta' (fr: 'rentrer') with your right hand 'd' (fr: d-droit), followed by the base rhythm that can be repeated several times: tatatotota, exit (fr: 'sortir') with tata. In this case it would be:

binary call (appel binaire)                         <- starting call
 ta tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tata        <- notes
 d  d g d g d  d g d g d  d g d g d  d g d g d  d g         <-  hand
binary call (appel binaire)                           <- ending call
 
The call (appel)

A call (appel) is used to notify the players you intend to start, change or stop the rhythm. A call (appel) announces a binary or a ternary rhythm.
  
Binary call (appel binaire)

fla toto to toto toto  <- often announced as 'tré pété té pété tété'
dg  d g  d  g d  g d
            
Ternary call (appel ternaire) I

fla toto toto toto     <- often announced as 'tra pata pata pata'
dg  d g  d g  d g
            
Ternary call (appel ternaire) II

pèteketètètè tètètè
d g d g d g  d g d
          
Tip: As a beginner you need only to be able to play the basic ternary and binary accompaniments.

A basic binary accompaniment is patapetipa, a basic ternary accompaniment is papita.

All ternary rhythms can be combined with ternary rhythms and all binary rhythms can be combined with binary rhythms. So if you think you lost your track, just play your basic accompaniment and you'll get back on the track again.
 
Rhythms and accompaniments

Playing the djembé on your own is no fun, you need the group to play with. Every rhythm can be accompanied by other rhythms or accompaniments.

An accompaniment is a rhythm specially designed to be played together with a rhythm or with other rhythms of the same sort (ternary or binary).

For example: the rhythm djansa (binary) can be combined with the accompaniment patapetipa or the rhythm fankani and the rhythm tiriba (ternary) can be combined with the specific accompaniment or with a basic ternary accompaniment like soko.

Every djembéplayer should master the basic accompaniments:
            
papita (ternary)
ternary call (appel ternaire)
 tatota tatota tatota tatota tatota
 d d g  d d g  d d g  d d g  d d g
or
 tatota tatota tatota tatota tatota
 d g d  d g d  d g d  d g d  d g d  <- same rhythm, different hands
ternary call (appel ternaire)
            
soko (ternary)
ternary call (appel ternaire)
 ta tatotota tatotota tatotota tatotota tatotota tata
 d  d g d g  d g d g  d g d g  d g d g  d g d g  d g
ternary call (appel ternaire)
            
patapetipa (binary)
binary call (appel binaire)
 ta tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tata
 d  d g d g d  d g d g d  d g d g d  d g d g d  d g d g d  d g
or
 ta tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tatatotota tata
 d  d g g d g  d g g d g  d g g d g  d g g d g  d g g d g  d g
            ^-  same rhythm, different hands used
binary call (appel binaire)
            
 
 
Link: Document with rhythm notations

 

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