Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Easily the best Arabic drumming DVD available
Steven Derosa | Sacramento,CA | 07/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rhythms of the Arab World Part 1 is easily the most professional and helpful DVD for learning Arabic/Middle Eastern drumming that I've bought, and, believe me, I've seen quite a few of the offerings on the market.
Besides having top-notch production values in terms of lighting, sound, titles, scripting, etc., the video excels at teaching not just technique and rhythms, but also stresses playing with musicality to bring the music alive. And it's all laid out very logically and clearly.
First, Karim demonstrates the different stroke techniques (doum, ka, tak, slap or sak), and his strokes are extremely clean and crisp, not the sloppy-slappy sounds that other teachers pass off as strokes. In this section, he demonstrates a fantastic trick for learning the notoriously difficult weak-hand tek or ka sound, and this was a joyous breakthrough for me as it was the first time someone on a drumming video explained exactly how to do it.
Next come a variety of fills and embellishments, and these are laid out very nicely with lots of examples and tips.
Next, Karim demonstrates many of the foundation rhythms for the Arabic drum, but rather than dryly marching through each rhythm, he presents each via a solo, a kind of miniature performance piece, that starts out slowly, builds in intensity and excitement, and finally ends in an inventive and exhilarating way. A student would do well to take note of how each piece builds and develops: Karim seems to have an excellent sense of which fill patterns and embellishments are the most effective and exciting as the rhythm develops and builds, with the end result being a collection of solos that I can only describe as very satisfying and instructive for anyone's compositions.
Overall, this is a marvelously useful and entertaining DVD, and there's a generous amount of material here, enough certainly to guide a student from a beginning to an intermediate level. From there, I'd recommend Part 2 of Karim Nagi's "Rhythms of the Arab World" to build on the solid foundation laid here."
Bob from TN | Tennessee, USA | 04/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a beginner and I don't have anyone close that teaches how to play a doumbek so I am doing all my learning from DVDs and CDs. This DVD provides a good foundation, excellent exercises and some basic rhythms.
It starts with how to hold a doumbek and shows you how to play the dum, tek, ka (weak hand tek) and sak sounds.
The exercises start slow and then speed up as they go along. Typically there are 4 different speeds so you learn how to hold the beat at different speeds.
Next you learn five basic ornaments (fills) to add variety to basic rhythms. Then you learn the basic rhythms and get to practice each rhythm with the ornaments with the ornaments you learned earlier. Finally Karim teaches rolls and how to switch between rhythms.
Karim teaches Ayoub. Saudi, Masmudi (Baladi), Maqsum, Malfuf, Wahda, Saidi and Sudasi on this DVD.
When I started working with this DVD I was only able to play at the slowest speed for the exercises and I thought I would never get a good ka sound. Now after only a month of practicing 5 hours a week with this DVD I am able to keep all but the fastest beats and still sound good. I recommend this DVD along with Souhail Kasper's and Amir Maoum's beginning DVDs."
Drumming for everyone*
A. Navarro | South Bay/L.A., Cali USA | 06/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Karim explains the techniques so well that anyone whom dares to pick up the drum will def. achieve something. He elaborates the meaning of the beat and where it comes from and Mr. Nagi knows the origin of the music he plays. I'm a dancer and not a drummer but this even helps me familiarize with the dance beats. I give this a A+!"
Best of the kind I have yet seen
David Regenspan | Hamilton, New York, USA | 01/30/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am halfway through Karim Nagi's first DVD, and it is the best of its kind I have yet seen either in DVD or on the Web. Nagi offers some good basic drum exercises, followed by what he does best--a clear presentation of rhythm versus ornamentation. Interestingly, he starts with teaching you a handful of basic ornaments before he gets to some fundamental Arabic rhythms. As a result, the fundamental distinction between rhythm and ornament becomes clear in the drummer's mind. With each new rhythm, the ornaments are then added in the order they were originally learned. At the end, he invites you to combine them all. The problem with this DVD may simply be that it is indeed a DVD and not a private lesson. What Nagi should do, but does not, is to invite the viewer to hit the pause button frequently so that he or she can practice at his or her own speed and, most of all, slow down and take things apart at a much slower count than Nagi races through. In particular, what he calls the "running" ornament can be very confusing if you don't takes things very slow at first to see which hand ends up doing what. A drum student with previous hand drum experience of any kind will already know to do this, but someone completely new to drumming might give up in confusion and blame him/herself for being uncoordinated and untalented. Because Nagi does not quite reach out enough to the novice drummer I give him four starts instead of five. However, having said that I do recommend his DVD. I also have his second, and look forward to working through it. In the end I think we all need to seek out live lessons with teachers--I'm sure Karim Nagi would be the first to agree with that--but if like me you live in a remote area, this DVD series makes for a very good start if you use it well."