Retirement Hobby: Djembe for fun
by David Kuo
(Palo Alto, CA, USA)
If you never learned a musical instrument before and would like to have some fun playing your own music, Djembe can be your choice.
According to Wikipedia, a djembe or jembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose. In the Bambara language, "djé" is the verb for "gather" and "bé" translates as "peace."
I purchased my Djembe from Amazon under $90. Initially, I used youtube to learn the basic pattern for beginner. Djembe plays only three tones, Bass, Tone, and Strike. So it is quite easy to learn.
Once you get into rhythm, it is quite mesmerizing by just repeating the patterns. You can also change up speed and dynamics to have more variety. You also can challenge yourself to go faster while still maintain steady beats.
When I am in the low mood, playing djembe in a park can be therapeutic.
If you prefer to take lesson, I found my online teacher from takelessons.com. It works out ok though there is audio and video hookups from the first session.