Monday, November 26, 2012

Get Some Bassa Rhythm!

Bassa Dialect Choir Drummers
The bigger drum keeps time and the smaller drum improvises

One of my "touristy" goat skin Liberian drums
Here is a basic Bassa rhythm that I was taught as a kid in Liberia.  It is from a Bassa song that has something to do with a man that had gold in his pockets, so a happy song!  I used a touristy goat skin drum I picked up along the street in Monrovia as I could not find the actual Bassa drums for sale.  Supposedly the traditional deer skins are hard to find as people chop bush meat into smaller pieces with disregard to the skin and the deer are becoming more difficult to find.  

Bassa drummer bringing the beats to a congregation heading down to the river for a baptism

This first video then is the basic beat that would be played on the bigger square drum and the second video is of the rhythm that is played on the smaller drum.  These rhythms are slowed way down and also in reality there would be two drummers each playing one of the drums at the same time, but hopefully this gives you the idea!

Of course if you'd rather not learn to play and just listen check out a couple of these Bassa Dialect Choir recordings I made in the summer of 2011.  The lighting is bad in the night one and the sound can be rough at times, but you can hear loud and clear those drums beating out some fine Bassa rhythm!  Enjoy-o!

This guy can rock out!....

I dream of someday drumming like these guys....

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