Originally published in DRUM! Magazine’s August 2006 Issue
This month, we are going to dig deeper into Agbadza, one of the oldest-known types of music in West Africa. As you play the Agbadza patterns (Ex. 1–3) on a hand drum, practice getting solid differentiation between your bass, tone, and slaps. Along with the rhythm, let the melody of the drum shine through. Focus on gaining an evenness of tone between the right and left hands. The more control you have over your single instrument, the easier you can lose yourself in the much larger musical moment.