Friday, January 8, 2010

Turkish Vs Egyptian

Turkish vs. Egyptian.

Thu, December 24, 2009 - 4:48 PM
The most FAQ I get based on a particular Youtube video I have posted. "Hello I am interested in your DVD on Turkish darbuka, can you tell me about it"? Response "Yes I can answer any question you may have, first I need to know what style and design darbuka you have" Response "Um its one I got off of Amazon, its about 20" in length, the head is 10" or so" Response "OK but what about the design of the drum, the rim that holds the head on? Flat rimmed, or rounded" ? Response "Oh its the rounded version" Response "OK thats an Egyptian style darbuka, my DVD would not assist you in the techniques required for that drum" And so on.................

I get a few of these a week typically, and its obvious most people with an interest in the art form of darbuka playing miss this. Naturally its the beginners who have a legitimate interest in the drum, but miss the physical challenges associated with the flat rimmed design. Not a huge problem, but enough motivation on my end to write this. If you are interested in darbuka playing there are several techniques, styles, rhythm cycles etc. But two vast differences in physical design and technique. First is the Turkish flat rim drum, the flat rim is designed to enable finger snapping hence the name "Turkish finger snap" Finger rolls are pretty hard due to the rim design, the ever popular split finger technique is not workable on the flat rim darbukas. The Egyptian rounded edge drum is quite different in rim design, its a lot more "user friendly" in that finger rolls (split finger especially) are a lot more comfortable. If I have the chance I will always tell players "Go try some drums out" if you have a well established music store in your town chances are they will have some in stock. Finger snap is a very interesting technique, I have played this style for quite a while. I do however put in way more practice on my Egyptian style drum, but there is one very big advantage to getting the basics of finger snap down. Lap style frame drum playing allows the player to incorporate finger snapping as well, an amazing cross over technique without a doubt. Youtube hosts plenty of videos with great demonstrations on seated frame drum playing. Think of it this way, if you already play finger snap techniques on frame drum then Turkish finger snap darbuka should come quite easily.

It does seem however that Turkish finger snap darbuka is falling by the wayside, the "Youtube" affect has a lot to do with this in my opinion. Luckily the Persian tonbak incorporates some of the same snaps, a wonderful instrument as well. Below are two links the demonstrate finger snapping. The first is one of me playing Turkish finger snap darbuka,
The second is a short one of me playing a 22" ocean drum, and incorporating finger snaps.

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