Our Drum Africa Community Band began in February 2020. After nearly 10 years of running our African drumming class teaching students traditional authentic West African drumming rhythms, we decided to create a Community Band: running ‘rehearsals’ instead of the usual drumming ‘classes’.
Rehearsals are open to drummers of all abilities, whether you are a complete beginner or advanced professional! People with all levels of experience will learn from Laurence’s wealth of knowledge and teaching experience in our weekly Tuesday sessions.
The format of rehearsals will generally run as follows:
8pm-8:10pm (suitable for beginners and all levels)
The beginning of each session will be a chance for all drummers to warm-up: beginners will have an opportunity to grips with the sounds and technique of djembe hand drumming, while more experienced players may get a chance to try out the dunduns.
8:10pm-8:30pm (suitable for beginners and all levels)
After the warm-up, Laurence will teach the simplest djembe rhythms required to play in the rehearsal to beginner players, and give trickier djembe rhythms to more experienced drummers. Intermediate and advanced players can also practise the co-ordination required to play dunduns.
8:30pm-9pm (suitable for all levels)
We will rehearse newer material for our performance set, with beginners and new players playing the simpler rhythms they have learnt and more experienced drummers rehearsing trickier djembe rhythms, dunduns and solo phrases.
9pm-9:30pm (generally suitable for more experienced drummers)
After the possibility of a short break we will continue to rehearse dance rhythms for our performance set – concentrating on perfecting existing musical arrangements with djembe supporting rhythms, dunduns and solo phrases. Beginner and drop-in drummers are also welcome to stay if they feel comfortable to do so!
Drummers who sign up to be members of the band will receive a termly discount rate for rehearsals (£45 for 6 weeks instead of £10 per session for drop-in drummers). A student discount is available will a valid student I.D. for £35 for 6 weeks. Our membership fee includes performances – the band will seek to do at least 4-6 performances per year!
Videos and lyrics will be provided for anyone who feels to need to practise between rehearsals, as we consolidate a set list of 4 or more drumming arrangements for our performances.
You don’t need to bring your own drum to rehearsals or performances as we will provide all the drums required. However, feel free to bring your own if you prefer!
If you can’t commit to termly membership, the sessions will still be open for drop-in drummers for £10 per session. Drop-in drummers will still be able to perform with us if they wish – but likewise nobody will be forced to perform unless they really want to! Our aim is that drummers who don’t wish to perform will still be able to learn in the sessions as if it is a regular drumming class.
Click here to see our upcoming session dates and band membership discounts – if you join us midway through the block you will pay less!