A video based learning resource for drummers to study Varun Venkit’s interpretation of 11 traditional West African rhythms on the drum kit

Hi, I’m Varun Venkit and I welcome you to ‘Mandingue Rhythms for Drumset!’ In this series of eleven videos I am very happy to share with you my interpretation of West African rhythms on the kit. Through this project you will learn about the djembe, dununs and also the cultural (ethnic) information associated with each of these rhythms. The videos consist of a traditional ensemble demonstration, a kit demo and explanation along with drum notations. I invite drummers to dive deep into the world of Mandingue percussion, experience the unique feel from grooves from West Africa, add to and explore a new vocabulary on the kit.

I’ve been playing the drum set for as long as I can remember. Then, in 2010 my life changed when I met Mamady Keita, my djembe Guru, may his soul rest in peace. I realized that I was following him all over the world like Mary’s lamb and learning from him in a new country each year, absorbing as much music and information as I could from him. I was playing the djembe a lot more than I was playing the drum kit. Eventually when I got back on the kit, both my musical sensibilities and what my hands could do on the kit, had changed. This video series is a product of this journey and exploration. My aim with this project is to inspire you, drummers with musical ideas to explore and have amazing musical epiphanies.

For those of you who are new to the world of West African percussion, here’s a little intro… A traditional West African djembe ensemble comprises djembes and dununs. Dununs are the collective word for three cylindrical bass drums. The Dununba is the biggest one. ‘Ba’ means big in Malinke. The Sangban is the heart of any ensemble and the medium sized drum and the Kenkeni (the smallest one). Mamady Keita calls the Kenkeni the motor or the driving force of most rhythms. And you’ll know why when you experience the kind of parts that are played on the Kenkeni. The Sangban is the heart of every ensemble. As you learn more and more West African rhythms it’s the Sangban that differentiates one rhythm from the other. The Dununba, Mamady calls ‘the Sauce’ because sauce makes things tasty and that’s just what the Dununba does. This video series consists of my interpretation of the Dunun melodies on the kit. The djembe demonstrations in the ensemble videos will give you an idea of what the rhythms traditionally sound like.

Download the PDF score / Notation for Djagbe

Now that you have a detailed background about this project, check out my interpretation of ‘Djagbe’ (a Malinke rhythm from North East Guinea) on the kit as a FREE trial! I hope you enjoy this rhythm and have a wonderful experience learning a new approach of grooves on the drum set.

* Buy any individual rhythm that you please or purchase a set of five or ten and avail of bulk discounts.

Please note:

  • Once you’ve added the products to your cart, you will be directed to the payment gateway.
  • For purchases within India, please use the Instamojo payment portal. All modes of payment will work (major cards, net banking, UPI, wallets etc).
  • For international purchases, please use the PayPal payment portal only.
  • On completion of the payment, you will receive a password which you can use to log into your account and enjoy lifetime access to the videos.
  • Buy any individual rhythm at INR 500 per rhythm
  • Purchase a set of five rhythms at INR 2250
  • Purchase all ten rhythms at INR 4000
  • Fee is exclusive of taxes and fees

More useful videos to know more about this project:
Here are some videos where I talk about my inspiration for this project and other highlights:

Learn West African Rhythms
for the drum kit

Varun Venkit’s inspiration for
‘Mandingue Rhythms For Drumset’

Mandingue Rhythms for Drumset: FAQ / Best Practice Video

Here’s a detailed video about the best way to consume this video based learning series, my drum kit set up, what’s the best way to learn, what next once you’ve learned the rhythms and more…