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Babatunde Olatunji & Bart Elliott

During the first week of January, 1997, I was fortunate enough to have legendary African drummer Babatunde Olatunji come to my Dallas apartment and give me my very first djembe lesson. Up until this time I had never played a djembe ... ever! As you'll be able to see from this 30-minute lesson, the techniques I use for congas are very different than djembe technique. With congas it's about keeping the hands low while always letting the hands rebound naturally. As you'll see from this video clip, djembe is about getting the hands off AND away from the drumhead; not something I was used to doing.

Babatunde created the "Gun-Dun, Go-Do, Pa-Ta" method which mimics the different sounds of the djembe and helps continue the auditory approach to learning and playing the instrument.


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