Djembe Instructional DVD:
Remembering How To Drum (By Michael Taylor)

A Solid Foundation For Djembe Beginners

Remembering How To Drum

Remembering How To Drum is a very well put together djembe instructional DVD for beginners:

Even if you've never touched a djembe before, this DVD will turn it into your new passion!

  • Have you heard of traditional djembe drumming and are wondering if this could be something for you?
  • Would you love to start playing djembe, but feel a little insecure about it?
Remembering How To Drum takes away your fear of drumming by explaining all the basics and giving you a solid foundation to build upon. At the same time, you'll get a taste of what advanced djembe drumming will be like.

Order it from Amazon USA or Amazon UK.

I bought the DVD to check out the quality and to see what a student can get out of it. Here are the facts:

General Impression

  • The DVD is made by Michael Taylor, a certified djembe instructor from Chicago. He is very articulate and gives clear instructions in a friendly tone.
  • The high quality shots in the studio and at the waterfront make this djembe instructional DVD a pleasure to watch.
  • The content is well organized into sections: From the main menu you can easily jump to each topic.
  • You not only learn the techniques, but actually get to apply them in an ensemble. This makes studying them more purposeful and fun.

What You'll Learn

Remembering How To Drum - Warm-up

Yoga warm-up exercises

Michael Taylor starts out with a whole series of warm-up exercises, that prevent injuries and enable you to play quicker and more precisely. Many professional African drummers actually do use such techniques before playing.

Not an absolute must, but certainly a good habit!

Remembering How To Drum - Technique

Bass, tone, slap & break

Taylor explains the three basic strokes and shows several breaks (signals).
Although this is done in just 4 minutes, it is the most important lesson for any beginner, because all djembe drumming (and all exercises on this djembe instructional DVD) are based on these fundamentals.
Well explained, but you'll need to keep practicing!

Ghosting in binary and ternary

Ghosting is a technique that keeps the time and helps you better understand the rhythm you are playing. It is often used by drummers but rarely explained, which can confuse a beginner. So seeing it on the DVD is a plus!

At the same time, you'll learn that there are binary rhythms and ternary rhythms. Taylor shows two ghosting exercises for each. I would have used other rhythms to make the difference more obvious for a beginner. But they are still great exercises.

2 against 3

Taylor displays an advanced 2 against 3 rhythm here without much explanation. You probably won't need it until you are more advanced. But because you will meet it again in the ensemble section of Remembering How To Drum, it's a pity that Taylor doesn't make it easier to follow. Just see it as a fun challenge to try to play along.

Remembering How To Drum - Technique

Practice Rhythms

Here is where the fun really starts. In several videos, Taylor plays a rhythm for you to play along. There are no explanations, but the strokes he plays are noted at the bottom of the screen. Each video loops infinitely, so that you can keep practicing as long as you need to. You can change the video angle to either have a first person or an audience perspective.

You'll learn two simple rhythms in 5 videos. One of

Remembering How To Drum - Technique

them gets more challenging as you improve your skills:

  • break + 1st rhythm
  • break + 2nd rhythm (slow version)
  • break + 2nd rhythm (faster version)
  • break + 2nd rhythm (with intermediate challenges)
  • break + 2nd rhythm (with advanced challenges)

Remembering How To Drum - Ensemble

Ensemble playing

The highlight of Remembering How To Drum! Here, you'll get to apply everything you learned in a real ensemble: The break, the practice rhythm with its challenges, binary and ternary, ghosting, two against three and even improvising. As you try to play along you can mute instruments to only study the ones of your choice. Very well done and fun to play along!

Cool Extras

Remembering How To Drum - Tuning

In addition to the rhythms and techniques, you'll find some nice extras on this djembe instructional DVD:

  • complete tuning instructions
  • brief history and origin of the drum
  • thoughts about drumming and the djembe tradition
  • performance video of Taylor's Holy Goat Ensemble


This is the best quality djembe instructional DVD on the market for beginners! It gives you a solid foundation that you can build your skills upon. It covers all the basic techniques while making them challenging enough to keep you working for a while. The ensemble and performances show you what's possible and motivate to keep studying.

Where To Buy

I ordered this djembe DVD online at (USA) and received it in good shape and quickly even though I live in Europe. Amazon has a 30-day full money back return policy.

Click this link to securely order online:

Amazon USA or Amazon UK

Have fun drumming, I guarantee you'll get hooked!


What do YOU think about this DVD?

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