Drum Lesson Download: Heel-Toe Technique on Djembe and Cajon

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Heel-toe Technique on Djembe and Cajon with Mike Meadows

Learn to do a drum roll on your hand drum! Mike Meadows teaches the heel-toe technique that is the foundation to the drum roll or "flutters" on the hand drum.

The heel-toe technique was developed in Cuban music mostly on congas but it has a lot of different applications that can be applied to the djembe, cajon, drum set or just about any other instrument. In this lesson, learn how to play it on djembe and cajon.

Basics: Learn what the "Heel" is and how to play it and transition to the "Toe" motion.

Learn how to play this pattern in a groove and also as rolls or flutters. Work from a very slow motion up to a rapid flutter pace.

Learn a rhythm that integrates heel-toe with djembe tone beats for a cool groove.

Pick up a tip for practicing heel-toe without an instrument so you can perfect the motion, anytime and anywhere.

Lean the heel-toe technique for cajon. The direction of the hands is different but the motion is the same. Walk through exercises to integrate the technique into some grooves.

The final exercise of this lesson is more advanced. It has over the barline phrasing (a 3 note pulse that moves over the 4 note pulse). Learn part one that is simply heel-heel-toe-toe. Learn part two that is a 3 note pattern that alternates. Then put the two parts together.

This video is instructed by Mike Meadows of Swan Percussion.
Mike Meadows is a professional freelance percussionist, drummer, and background vocalist based in Austin,TX. He is also co-inventor of The Black Swan Drum and co-founder of Swan Percussion. The cajon used in this lesson is the Swan Percussion Corsoba Cajon.

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3 Reviews

  • 4
    Great instructor

    Posted by Don S. on 18th Oct 2014

    Mike is a great instructor, and the lesson is well presented, as well as challenging. I would give it 5 stars except that the video 'freezes' for about 3 minutes beginning at the 23:45 mark (audio is fine).

  • 5
    Refreshingly new technique, but hard to master

    Posted by Drazen Markovic on 28th Jul 2014

    There are plenty of djembe lessons on the net, but great majority is really useful for beginners. When you learn enough and are able to play basic rhythms, it gets harder to find lessons for intermediate level where you can find advice how to solo and begin to improvise on you djembe. This is one of such lessons, and I'm pleased that I've found it. Excellent value for money.

  • 5
    Awesome lesson

    Posted by Leeanne Shannon on 28th Jul 2014

    Great lesson for learning heel/toe technique for beginning to intermediate drum/djembe students.
    I love the practice exercise.
    Mike Meadows is a wonderful instructor and I would love to see more lessons from him!

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