Back to Blog

D’Jembe Rhythm: Kuku

07/31/2013 09:36

How to Play 2 Djembe Drums Together - Howcast

The kuku is a dance and a drum rhythm in West Africa. Women would dance to the kuku to celebrate their return from fishing. Usually it is played with 2 d'jembes where one plays the rhythm and other d'jembe which is tuned lower plays the deeper bass sound. But a dunun drum can be used for the bass part of the 2nd d'jembe instead. Kuku is also used for celebrations and during a full moon. There are 3 parts to the song.

  1. Call
  2. Rhythm
  3. Ending

The call starts out with a flam. This is where you hit the drum almost at the same time with both hands. One hand hits right before the other. One way to play a flam is to have the lead hand right above the drum and the other hand a little higher than the other hand and then try to hit the drum at once with both hands. Note the flam is represented by 2 overlapping black circles meaning it is a flam using the tone. The black circle is the tone, the black star is a slap, and the open black circle is the bass. Call


D'Jembe 1 rhythm


D'Jembe 2 rhythm


The End - Notice the end is similar to the call except is has an added slap at the end.


There are many variations on the kuku. Look on any Youtube and you will see a variety of kuku performances. Get your D'Jembe or Dunun drums today. Click here! Source: