Lunar ☽☺☾ Beats

One of my own creations in a modern take on traditional West African rhythms, I called this rhythm Lunar Beats, as it was composed at Full Moon and then added to later at New Moon. As such, we only play it at Full or New Moon with my more advanced groups, as it's not easy, with tricky techniques and offbeats, the solo being extremely challenging.

Main Rhythm

110bpm, to be played nicely swung

           | 1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&- |
Signal     | OO.o.O.OO.s..... |   (my new version of the normal signal)
             rl f l rl f
Sig+Duns   | OO.o.O.OO.s.GGDD |   (duns enter early here=$)

Djembe 1   | |   (played with ghost notes)
             rlrlr  lrlrlr rl

Djembe 1a  | OOttZ..BtBBtZ..o |   (infrequent alternate ending)
Djembe 1b  | OOttZ..BtBBtSOOOOO | (infrequent alternate manic ending)

Djembe 2   | S..BS.O.S..BSOOO |
             l  rl r l  rlrlr     (or reverse the handing)

           | 1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&- | 5-&-6-&-7-&-8-&- |
Djembe 3   | | B.OtB.ttB.ttBs.S |
             r rlr rlr rlr rl   r rlr rlr rlrf l

Djembe 1 pays homage to Prince's "Hot Thing" bassline ;-)
Djembe 2 keeps slapping on the beats with the left hand, and alternating bass and tone with the other hand, apart from the tones fill-in at the end.
Djembe 3 is like "Woodpecker" with an added tone (make it loud!) and some offbeat slaps to end.

The duns tune was originally conceived with one hand playing duns while the other keeps a metronomic bell count, but it could also be played ballet-style with both hands, although be careful not to cross over your hands while playing. This phrase may help you remember it:

"Haven't you heard
 that the moon is hollow and full of big holes?
 Yes, the moon! Yes, the moon! Haven't you heard..."

           | 1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&- | 5-&-6-&-7-&-8-&- |
Bell       | X...X...X...X... | X...X...X...X... |
=          | X...X...X...X... |
      GGDD | .K.GK.D.DDK.GGDD | +
           | .K.GK..K.GK.GGDD |

The structure is more obvious when written out as two bars underneath each other (above).

Check out these variations, and/or compose/improvise some of your own!

Var 1:     | X...X...X...X... |
           | .K.GK.D.DDK.GGDD | +
           | .K.GK..K.GK...DD |

Var 2:     | X...X...X...X... |
           | .K.GK.D.DDK.GGDD | +
           | .K.GK..K.GKG.D.D |

Var 3:     | X...X...X...X... |
           | .K.GK.D.DDK.GGDD | +
           | .K.GK..K.GKG.DDD |

Bell Var:  | X..X..X..X..X..X | ..X..X..X..X..X. | .X..X..X..X..X.. |
      GGDD | .K.GK.D.DDK.GGDD | .K.GK..K.GK.GGDD | .K.GK.D.DDK.GGDD | etc.

The last Bell Variation is challenging to count, but very mesmeric!

Alternatively (or additionally), have a dedicated bell player, ideally alternating two nicely pitched bells (or a muted/unmuted slit bell) like this:

High Bell  | ......xx......xx |
Low Bell   | ..xx......xx.... |


Many of the extensive Solo phrases are very complex, and I don't expect many folk will be able to execute them, so for now I'll leave them out to prevent further delays in the publication of this notation! The Break and Intro/Outro are also unfinished/omitted for now.