Brekete is both the name of a drum from the Dagoma tribe in the North of Ghana and a religious cult in the South of Ghana that use the drum.
Brekete use in Dagbon tribe in the North of Ghana:
Brekete religious cult in Southern Ghana, Ewe tribe.
Residential Workshops in Kent
Ghanaian Xylophone, traditionally known as Gyile. We look at rhythmic techniques and exercises. Learning traditional Ghanaian music from the Dagarti, Lobi and Sisala tribes and adapting Ghanaian drumming music to xylophone. Ghanaian Drumming Looking at hand and stick techniques, bell, percussion, bass, talking drum, support and lead parts, improvisation and fundamental rhythms. Studying music from the Ga, Ewe, Ashanti, Dagomba and Hausa peoples of Ghana. Rough guide to the day. Roughly 7 – 8 Hours tuition a day
8 – 10 Breakfast . 10 – 1 Tuition. 1 – 2 Lunch. 2 – 4 Free Time. 4 – 6 Tuition 6 – 8 Supper. 8 – 10 Tuition
Venue. Workshops take place in North Kent, 7 miles from Dartford, 30 miles east of London. Situated in my mother’s 400 year old thatched house in three acres of land. Plenty of space and time to escape outside, light fires in the garden at night ( you will be collecting the wood ) and to walk or cycle in local woods and fields . Time of arrival and departure is 4pm. Food. Just as important as the music. Breakfast will be set on the table for you to help yourself. We have a buffet lunch and a sit down dinner in the evening. The washing and clearing up that’s up to you. You may even be encouraged to do some chopping. Accommodation Five shared/single bedrooms (first come first served) plus space for camping. Getting There. By Train. Local station is Longfield, it is 45 minutes from Victoria, London. By Car. 15 minutes drive from M25 M/A20 M/A2. Directions can be sent if required. Address Brickend, Church Rd, Hartley, NR Longfield, Kent DA3 8DR Booking. Send a deposit of £100 to Ghana Goods, 52 Averay Rd, Stapleton, Bristol, BS16 1BH
Weekly Ghanaian Drum Class for Intermediate and advanced players
Ben Lawrence Ghanaian Drum & Xylophone Workshops 2017
5 Day Residential Workshops in Kent
Xylophone April 1st -6th & October 14th – 19th
Drumming June 24th – 29th & Oct 28th – November 2nd
£325 inc food, accommodation and tuition.
5 Day Drum and Xylo Holidays In Cornwall
Drum and Xylophone May 27th – June 1st & September 2nd – 7th
£325 Campers £395 Bed. Including food, accommodation and tuition.
Weekend Xylo Workshop in Bristol
Xylophone November 25th – 27th
£130 Including food, accommodation and tuition.
To book send a deposit of £100 (£50 for the weekends). Deposit can be transferred to other courses if change advised two weeks before start of the course. Please pay in full at least two weeks before the start of the course.
The Rhythm Tree
I used to call this section ‘Feeling the Beat/Pulse and off Beat’ and I used to then have another section called threes against twos but they are now important parts of the same section ‘The Rhythm Tree’ which is just about the only part of music which I learnt at school and still teach.
In our lessons we will see how this chart above can help us understand the rhythms we are playing. How all the rhythms are related to one another, how to feel and identify the constant pulselbeat underlying the music, how to play one rhythm over another, how to improvise, how to play on the beat, how to play off the beat and how to move freely from one feeling to another.
One of our main objectives is to feel the rhythms we are playing, so often when people are playing music we are trying to work thinks out and then we have got it we want move to the next thing, never taking the rhythms into our bodies and getting to the stage where we don’t have to think about what we are playing but just feel and enjoy it. For some of us it can take a life time but what we need to do is bypass our brains and connect with the feelings and they give us. A good way of doing this is playing rhythms for sometime. When I learn from my teachers in West Africa I may often be left for one hour just playing the same thing so that when I come to play it again I don’t have to think it through, instead the rhythm comes to me from within , I have internalised it.
Feel the Pulse
Inside all the music i play there is a beat, a pulse, a driving regally repeating force. Its what i feel inside when i play, its the dancers feat, the songs phrasing and the poetry’s meter. Its the foundation upon which play, the structure upon which every rhythm you play sits. In Africa its not talked of discussed, but its built in to the culture the childrens stories and games the pounding of the food the speeking of the language.
The rhythm tree
One of our main objectives is to feel the rhythms we are playing, so often
when people are playing music we are trying to work thinks out and then we
have got it we want move to the next thing, never taking the rhythms into our
bodies and getting to the stage where we don’t have to think about what we
are playing but just feel and enjoy it. For some of us it can take a life time but
what we need to do is bypass our brains and connect with the feelings and
they give us. A good way of doing this is playing rhythms for sometime.
When I learn from my teachers in West Africa I may often be left for one
hour just playing the same thing so that when I come to play it again I don’t
have to think it through, instead the rhythm comes to me from within , I have
Improvising can sound quite frightening, like a public humiliation trying to be
free with something you haven’t got a clue about. If we are speaking we
have a language, we can go from word to word, constructing sentences,
however well or badly which people understand and can get meaning or
understanding from. The same is true of improvising we need to feel free in
the language of rhythm, we need to be able to speak through our drums,
understand there own language and communicate with the other musicians
and the audience. All of this takes some time but in a simple way it can be
started straight away. What we are looking towards in improvising are things
like being able to feel the beat in the music and the ability to go freely from
one rhythm to another while still keeping with every one else.
We will work at doing this within different rhythms and practice playing
different rhythms and beats over each other building our confidence and
freedom within rhythms.
Sitting at the xylophone, holding the beaters, the pentatonic scale, knowing your octave, two pairs, two with three.
The basic elements of learning are below. More information is available on CD, DVD and youtube.
Xylo Drum & Xylo Holiday Cornwall September 2016
Xylo Residential Kent October 2016
Xylo Weekend Bristol November 2016
Sitting comfortable with your drum, Hand Drumming, Tone (Go do), Slap (Pa ta), Bass (Gun), Stick Drumming, Open and Closed tones, The Roll, The Rhythm Tree, Two with Three, Three with Four, Feel of Two, Feel of three, Feel of Four.
The basic elements for learning the drum are below. More info can be found on CD, DVD and youtube
Drum Residential Kent June 2016
Xylo & Drum Holiday Cornwall September 2016
Kent Residential November 2016