African Drumming

235 TUTOR: Luke Winton

Experience and enjoy the vitality and creative freedom that African drumming has to offer. Suited to all levels of ability, this course will help improve your co-ordination, mindfulness, teamwork and musicality. Your tutor will encourage you to immerse yourself in rhythm and let the pulse of the drum take control. You will be mainly playing West African rhythms from the Mandinka tribe, which are full of energy, uplifting and even meditative. The rhythms are easy to learn and remember, so can be applied to any African drum circle you may join in the future. If you did not think rhythm was contagious before, you will after this course!

4 AM
AM course

Course Notes

The course will be based on the main fundamentals of Djembe drumming:


Each day the lesson will begin with warm up exercises working on count, hand position and sound. Throughout the week exercises will increase in difficulty creating higher challenges for the student resulting in stronger playing ability and stamina for performance.

Along with this 'call & answer' rhythms will be introduced with the master drummer calling rhythms for the group to respond to, as these rhythms get learnt the master drummer responsibility will be passed around the group to increase confidence in performing.

Rhythms (Singing & Playing):

With the belief that if you can sing it you can play it a short amount of time will be spent singing each new rhythm to help encourage confidence with playing and learning new rhythms. As the group's ability to play more complex rhythms increases, more than one rhythm will be played simultaneously creating polyrhythms. It will be discussed with the group at how the rhythms integrate with each other and how some rhythms work better together more than others.

All rhythms learnt will be in 4/4 or 6/8 time, the group will be made aware of the difference in count, sound and feel between common time and compound time. It also will be explained how 6/8 time is known as 'roots' for djembe drumming.


Each set of rhythms have a unique history. Whether being used for a festival, wedding or harvest the purpose of the rhythms will be explained along with its origins and how it can even be heard in contemporary music today. The main tribes discussed will be the Mandinka tribe from West Africa and the Nyabinghi tribe from East Africa.

Playing along:

During each lesson students will play along to songs reinforcing their ability to play pulse and rhythm demonstrating how African rhythms can be combined with commonly known songs and performed with a group or on their own.

Course Tutor

Luke Winton

About Luke

Luke Winton has over 13 years of experience leading workshops with African Percussion. Leading groups from all ages he believes that everyone has rhythm and everyone has the ability to connect with it.

Having played drums for over 24 years Luke has enjoyed several tours playing Reggae, Samba, World music and Rock with various bands playing stages from West Holts at Glastonbury to Hidden Woods at BoomTown festival.

Along with regularly performing Luke works for the Swindon Music Service providing African Drumming workshops to around 500 children a week during term time at numerous Primary Schools around Swindon.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM