(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 1 Essential Drumming Technique Chapters
(1) Posture (2) Sounds: Dum, Tak, Ka, Sak, Is, (3) Technique Exercises (4) Switching Between Rhythms
(5) Basic Ornaments (6) Rolls (7) Ayyoub (8) Masmudi (9) Maqsum (10) Malfuf (11) Wahda (12) Saidi
(13) Sudasi (14) Saudi (15) Bonus Performance (16) Bloopers
Karim explains the techniques so well that anyone whom dares to pick up the drum will def. achieve something. He elaborates the meaning of the beat and where it comes from and Mr. Nagi knows the origin of the music he plays. I'm a dancer and not a drummer but this even helps me familiarize with the dance beats. I give this a A+!
A. Navarro "Ghawazee" (South Bay/L.A., Cali USA)
Rhythms of the Arab World Part 1 is easily the most professional and helpful DVD for learning Arabic/Middle Eastern drumming that I've bought, and, believe me, I've seen quite a few of the offerings on the market.
Besides having top-notch production values in terms of lighting, sound, titles, scripting, etc., the video excels at teaching not just technique and rhythms, but also stresses playing with musicality to bring the music alive. And it's all laid out very logically and clearly.
First, Karim demonstrates the different stroke techniques (doum, ka, tak, slap or sak), and his strokes are extremely clean and crisp, not the sloppy-slappy sounds that other teachers pass off as strokes. In this section, he demonstrates a fantastic trick for learning the notoriously difficult weak-hand tek or ka sound, and this was a joyous breakthrough for me as it was the first time someone on a drumming video explained exactly how to do it.
Next come a variety of fills and embellishments, and these are laid out very nicely with lots of examples and tips.
Next, Karim demonstrates many of the foundation rhythms for the Arabic drum, but rather than dryly marching through each rhythm, he presents each via a solo, a kind of miniature performance piece, that starts out slowly, builds in intensity and excitement, and finally ends in an inventive and exhilarating way. A student would do well to take note of how each piece builds and develops: Karim seems to have an excellent sense of which fill patterns and embellishments are the most effective and exciting as the rhythm develops and builds, with the end result being a collection of solos that I can only describe as very satisfying and instructive for anyone's compositions.
Overall, this is a marvelously useful and entertaining DVD, and there's a generous amount of material here, enough certainly to guide a student from a beginning to an intermediate level. From there, I'd recommend Part 2 of Karim Nagi's "Rhythms of the Arab World" to build on the solid foundation laid here.
Steven Derosa (Sacramento,CA)
I am a beginner and I don't have anyone close that teaches how to play a doumbek so I am doing all my learning from DVDs and CDs. This DVD provides a good foundation, excellent exercises and some basic rhythms.
It starts with how to hold a doumbek and shows you how to play the dum, tek, ka (weak hand tek) and sak sounds.
The exercises start slow and then speed up as they go along. Typically there are 4 different speeds so you learn how to hold the beat at different speeds.
Next you learn five basic ornaments (fills) to add variety to basic rhythms. Then you learn the basic rhythms and get to practice each rhythm with the ornaments with the ornaments you learned earlier. Finally Karim teaches rolls and how to switch between rhythms.
Karim teaches Ayoub. Saudi, Masmudi (Baladi), Maqsum, Malfuf, Wahda, Saidi and Sudasi on this DVD.
When I started working with this DVD I was only able to play at the slowest speed for the exercises and I thought I would never get a good ka sound. Now after only a month of practicing 5 hours a week with this DVD I am able to keep all but the fastest beats and still sound good. I recommend this DVD along with Souhail Kasper's and Amir Maoum's beginning DVDs.
Bob from TN (Tennessee, USA)