How to Play the Shekere

Learn how to play the shekere from the musicians at Wula Drum in this Howcast video.

Transcript

I'm going to show you how to play the Shekere.

Shekere is a wonderful instrument that comes from Southwest Africa in the area like Sierra Leone, Nigeria, where long time ago, the first drums, believe it or not, were gourds. Gourds being pounded at births, ceremonies and just working in the field using to accompany songs. How you play the Shekere is very simple. And again, you must try to be really relaxed.

You are going to use the palm of your hand to strike the bottom of this
instrument while holding it at the top. So it's almost like holding a baby. Okay? So you rest it down on your palm. You have a drum sounding note, but also you did hit the beads. So you move the Shekere around like so, and you start getting a little music and it makes me feel really good to do that. Listen to it. You can also add a roll in your playing, which is just this skirt of colorful beads hitting the outside of this gourd.

And you know gourds come from the pumpkin family and when they're dried after harvest, they become really hollow on the inside. So as you see, the bottom is just like the playing surface of a hand drum. Okay.

And that's how you play the Shekere.

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