West African Rhythms
Book by Age Delbanco
Age Delbanco’s book entitled West African Rhythms has 100 rhythms notated inside of it. Many of them have numerous variations for each instrument, and solo phrases for Djembe. Over seventeen years of studying, Delbanco collected rhythms from teachers in Africa and the US, originally writing them down for his own memory. He began compiling an impressive list of rhythms from some of the best African teachers there are. Eventually he decided to publish a book, and then West African Rhythms was born.
This book is an invaluable resource to the learning drummer. You don’t need to be able to read music to play the rhythms; Delbanco uses a notation format to translate the rhythms to the reader with relative ease. There is no substitute to practicing with a teacher who is well versed in the music and the traditions, but books like these are great memory banks for the studying drummer. This book has a nice variety of rhythms in it; many of the rhythms that are popular in dance classes are in this book for those that want to become more solid in those, but there are also some amazing rhythms that you don’t hear so much in classes but they’re are extremely fun to play and help develop your skills as a drummer.