Join the band

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’.

DSC_0090Rehearsals are open to drummers of all abilities, whether you are a complete beginner (remember to attend our 7:30pm beginners’ class too!) 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.

Our Tuesday evening sessions run as follows:

7:30pm-8:15pm, Beginners class (suitable for beginners and experienced beginners)

This class provides beginner students with all the basics they need to know about playing djembe, from learning the three main sounds: bass, tone and slap, to playing supporting rhythms for various traditional West African dance rhythms. Be prepared to sing your drum notes as Laurence gets you to train both your mind and your body to embrace the rhythm!

Meanwhile, more experienced drummers will also get a great opportunity to learn to play dunduns (the bass drums) in this steady and accessible class.

8:15pm-9pm (suitable for all levels)

This is when we build and rehearse our setlist for community band performances. Our busiest time for gigs is in the summer months, so September – March is generally spent learning new material.

Members will learn all the supporting rhythms for djembe, while intermediate and advanced drummers will also try the dundun rhythms. Intermediate solo phrases might also be taught, though these are sometimes first introduced during our termly weekend workshops.

9pm-9:30pm (generally suitable for intermediate/advanced)

Band rehearsals continue, mostly concentrating on honing trickier material such as solo phrases, improvised solos and dundun rhythms and echauffements.

Band membership and class discounts

Drummers who sign up for a half-term block of beginners’ classes will receive a discount rate of £45 for 6 weeks instead of £10 per session.

Band membership to attend from 8:15pm-9:30pm is also £45 for 6 weeks instead of £10 per session, or for those who wish to attend both sessions it costs £58 for 6 weeks instead of £15 per week.

Go to our session dates page to see full details of our upcoming rehearsals and discounts – if you join us midway through the block you will pay less!

Our band membership fee also includes performances, with around 6-8 performance opportunities per year!

Comprehensive videos and song lyrics are provided in our password-protected Members area for anyone who feels they would like to practise between rehearsals, as we consolidate a set list 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!

Drop-in drummers

If you can’t commit to half-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!

Those who wish to drop-in to both our beginners class and our band rehearsals are welcome to attend both for £15 per week.