(DVD) RHYTHMS OF THE ARAB WORLD : Drumming Technique (2008), produced by Hollywood Music Center. The Tabla, also known as the Doumbek and Darabuka, is an ancient instrument of the Arab World, and is rarely absent from any celebration. This goblet-shaped drum is used folk, popular and classical music throughout the Middle East and neighboring countries. Many around the world are drawn to this captivating instrument. With Rhythms of the Arab World Volume 1, world-renowned percussionist Karim Nagi will teach you the essential technique and rhythms so you can be playing with live bands, drum circles and dancers. Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian teacher and performer of Arab music and dance. He is an internationally known percussionist who specializes is the Egyptian Tabla (a.k.a. Doumbek,Darabuka), the Riqq (tambourine),as well as frame drums and finger cymbals. His projects include the internationally sold Turbo Tabla CDs,the ultra traditional Sharq Ensemble, and his Arab Dance Seminar. His appearances include New England Conservatory, Yale University, The Kennedy Center, and the Egyptian Cultural Bureau.
DVD sample on youtube
VOLUME 2 Advanced Drumming Technique Chapters
(1) Left Hand Rolls (2) Fills (3) Sak with both hands (4) Switching Between Rhythms
(5) Drumming for a Dancer (featuring Ava Fleming): communication, and soloing
(6) Masmudi Kabir (7) Fallahi (8) Samai (9) York Samai (10) Adani (11) Maghrebi
(12) Karachi (13) Bambi (14) Wahda Sonbati (15) Study Guide (16) Musical Notation
(17) Bonus Performances
Karim Nagi has created the perfect follow-on to his first video here with Rhythms of the Arab World, Volume 2. By that I mean that it builds on Volume 1 but isn't more of the same, but by the same token doesn't suddenly leave us behind by going too advanced suddenly. This DVD is a generous offering in 4 parts: advanced techniques, rhythms, switching between rhythms, and drumming for a dancer (this last part alone sets it far apart from any other drumming video I've seen).
The techniques he presents are as usual laid out very logically, and they are illustrated alone and in the context of the Ayoub and Belledi (Masmudi Seghir) rhythms. From left-hand rolls to fills such as triplets, quadruplets, and sextuplets (and oh what a beautiful sextuplet he lays down! I'm still trying to master it months later), and then to the "Sak with both hands," more widely known as a "pop," demonstrating several versions of this important accent.
From there we're treated to a wonderful array of advanced rhythms including the Masmudi Kabir, Samai, York Samai, Maghrebi, Karatchi, Adani, and a few others. Karim lays down each rhythm very clearly and slowly at first so it's easy to get the feel of them, then plays at a couple speeds, moderate and then overdrive, to demonstrate several ways to fill or ornament each rhythm, always ending with a flourish.
Karim then demonstrates how to switch back and forth seemlessly between two complementary rhythms, a section which I found extremely helpful and fun, as it's too easy as a drummer to play a single rhythm ad nauseum. This will definitely add spice and interest to your playing.
Finally, the excellent section on drumming for a dancer is essential for those drumming for bellydancers. Karim demonstrates how a drummer can both express his creativity while still staying "grounded" in the rhythm, so as to keep the dancer in the groove.
All in all, a very professional, very important video for those who really want to reach the next step in the amazing world of Arabic drumming. Definitely worth getting if you love the drumming and the rhythms.
Steven DeRosa (Sacramento,CA)