Learning to play the Daf to become a complete darbuka player
My first trip to Iran was really something i will never forget. I was glad to be leaving the freezing cold weather behind me in Turkey and chase the sun that the weather man promised was in Isfahan! It was only around 18 degrees but compared with -10 degrees that would be just fine by me!
The weather was not the only reason i headed into Iran. For a long time i had been listening to Persian music and realy loved the sound of the Daf and Tonbak.
On arriving in Isfahan i was greeted by a very friendly and cosmopolitan city that reminded me of my home town in Melbourne, Australia. I had already played frame drums such as the Riq for a while but really wanted to learn the Daf. The Daf just had such a powerful sound because of the large frame and all the chains along the inner rim. For such a simple drum, it has an awesome dynamic range. To make a long three month story short, i found a wonderful teacher Sara Fotros and started my Daf journey. Learning to play the Daf has done wonders for my Darbuka technique, not to mention the Persian rhythms that translate beautifuly to darbuka.
The Daf falls into a family of ancient drums called 'frame drums.' These drums are found all over the world with each country making their own changes to the drum and playing techniques. See other frame drums such as the Riq, Bendir, Bodran, Tar, Tambourello and you will see what i mean. The truely unique thing about the Daf is that we stand to play (but not always) and move with the drum itself. When playing the darbuka we are seated and the drum must not move whilst we play. Because of the very nature of the Daf, with all of the chains creating paterns of their own, we must move with the drum. It creates a wonderful feeling for the player and really connects you to the drum.
If you enter into the world of frame drums you will find an infinite world of sounds and possibilities. It will also help with your darbuka playing. Many of the techniques used are very similar to those found on goblet drums. It will add to your reportoire of rhythms and overall dynamics as a player.
You will also be a drummer demand because you pla more than just the darbuka! Some songs call for Riq or Bendir. There is so much more colour in a drumming ensemble that have darbuka with frame drum parts also. If its all just the darbuka the sound gets very dry with too much of the same.
Give it a go and see for yourself...you will never look back!