Jim Donovan: West African War Dance Rhythms

Going Gota

By Jim Donovan Originally Published in DRUM! Magazine's May 2006 Issue

Originally a war dance but now performed mainly for entertainment at community gatherings, Gota hails from the ancient kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa. I find this piece to be a nice introduction for those interested in learning more about the richness of African drumming. Exs. 1–5 illustrate the main patterns for Gota. Learn each phrase and then try playing one phrase on your right hand and another phrase on your left. Eventually get your feet involved and try moving the patterns around your kit. Hours of fun to be had here!

JIM DONOVAN is a current and founding member of the multiplatinum band Rusted Root. He has released three solo CDs as well as four instructional drumming CDs. jimdonovanmusic.com

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