Drum challenge sparks a new interest
Reporter has a taste of African hand drumming as part of this year’s series.
If you’ve never heard of African hand drumming, I recommend you hear it now.
But though the music sounds amazing online, it’s something else to listen to it live.
African hand drumming involves the musician using their bare hands to hit a djembe, a ropetuned skin-covered goblet drum.
By hitting the drum with your hands in a number of positions, you can make a number of rhythms.
The djembe is usually accompanied by a dundun, a trio of African drums played with a stick.
I went down to Creative Waikato on a Tuesday evening for an introductory lesson with Nathan Bregmen, director of African drumming Waikato.
He will be taking a six-week African drumming course and this class was a free taster for those curious about the unique form of music.
I was lucky enough to have a lesson with Bregmen before the class started, which was useful, as I was shaking so much I thought I’d drop the djembe.
But when african drumming beginners filled the room for the lesson, it wasn’t daunting. The fact that you all play together means no one notices or minds if you mess it up.
Bregmen was an excellent teacher, talking us through the bass, bass, tone, tone, slap slap. I had a smile on my face the whole time.
Bregmen has played the drums for 21 years and the djembe for nine. He has been teaching african drumming for three years.
He was taught by Jimi Dale in Auckland and thought playing the djembe would be a part-time thing, something he could incorporate into his drumming.
But Bregmen said he fell in love with the instrument in it’s own right, and it isn’t hard to see why.
After one lesson I was already wanting to learn more. At work the next day I wanted to drum the rhythm out on my desk. In fact, I enjoyed myself so much that I’ve signed onto the six-week course.
It starts at 6pm, February 14, held at Creative Waikato, 131 Alexandra St. Contact Nathan on 021 1567712 or email@example.com to inquire. I’ll see you there.
Reporter Kelley Tantau and African Drumming Waikato director Nathan Bregmen.