Frame Drum Funk

There are a wide variety of frame drums for many different styles of music, but in its essence we are talking about a shallow, circular drum shell with a single head that is tunable in certain models.

When played traditionally, the finger and hand techniques are quite technical with a multitude of achievable tonalities. However, with a little brush experimentation you can simulate a snare drum and get some saucy drum set-laced grooves with backbeats.

In a seated position, cradle the instrument in your lap. Hold a wire brush in one hand near the top of the drum pinning it loosely to the edge, while the other hand is bare near the lower mid-section (Fig. 1).

Thump your bare hand for a low resonant tone accentuating the bass frequencies, and with a snapping of the wrist, strike the head with the brush hand using the edge as a pivot (Fig. 2). Get a deep thud-like kick sound, by striking the center with a flat hand (Fig. 3). For quicker fills and syncopations double up on the brush (Fig. 4).

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

Ex. 3

Ex. 4