Word on the street is that Babatunde Olatunji came up with a speakable language for African rhythms. Then he passed it on to Arthur Hull and others, who passed it on to me and you and many others.

Middle eastern drumming also has a speakable language.

You can extract a speakable drumming language from modern American music, too.

To say it so you can play it is really a great way to internalize music.

I shared the video below on Wednesday with subscribers who opted in to receive the eBook. Sign up over there → to get secret videos and announcements in your email every once in a while!

Here’s what music therapist Carolyn said: It reminded me of some scat singing I once attempted with a female client who really liked jazz. It also inspired me to try using my voice more for rhythmic purposes in sessions, rather than just for singing “traditional” songs.

Here’s what drummer Jo said: I am in SW England and the way we say it is Bass, Rim, Slap –  Some times Boo Kaa Tin and with the children we make up all sorts of our own out of insects or food or toy names.

Here’s what I demonstrate in the video:

Doum = Middle Eastern bass tone
Gun = African bass tone
Boom = American bass tone

But keep in mind that I’m no guru. I’m just Kat. I’ve gone to a few workshops and trainings and things, but if you want to learn more, then take a workshop from a guest blogger. I have even listed 6 reasons to attend an Arthur Hull playshop. Highly recommended! Ok, enjoy the video~


Special thanks to Michelle Erfurt and Nat Mullis for bugging me to do this video! Also, thanks to Shannon at Drum Circle World ( specifically this post) who has inspired me to make rhythms with my voice!

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