Drumroots is based on the drumming traditions of West Africa – especially Guinea, where many of our members have studied under celebrated drumming masters. The rhythmic traditions of Guinea are derived from the highly cultured and musical Mandeng people, who have influenced musical traditions throughout West Africa.
Our principal instrument is the Djembe, a skin-covered hand drum shaped like a large goblet and played with the bare hands. A variety of tones can be produced – principally the slap, which has a high and sharp sound, the tone which is more rounded and full, and the bass, which is deep and resonant. We also use drums known as Dunduns; this trio of bass drums, played with wooden sticks and metal bells give the music its bass line and melody, which identifies each rhythm and help hold the tempo.
Our drumming lessons and workshops are based on well established traditional West African drumbeats and rhythmic patterns, but these are highly flexible so as to accommodate virtually unlimited personal interpretation and freedom of expression. This allows drummers of all ages and abilities to create a valid and attractive individual sound, whilst also playing an integral part in the drumming group.
Our workshops and performances are frequently enhanced by our own dancers, as well as guest dancers and drummers from West Africa.