Fanga , a Liberian welcoming song, is one of the best-known pieces of drum music from West Africa. I continue to find that many of the concepts used in African drum ensemble music have not only helped my hand drumming and drum-set playing immeasurably but have also greatly affected my overall approach to playing and the depth of my musical enjoyment, especially with learning how to hear patterns and parts as a cohesive whole. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we're doing as drummers that we forget we are just one part of a much bigger musical picture. Remember to start slowly and to practice with a metronome or loop. Breathe through each phrase, and relax as you play.
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. http://www.jimdonovanmusic.com