Darbuka – Solo Phrases over the Malfuf

David demonstrates ideas and phrases for solo phrases over the Malfuf playing using the Turkish split-hand technique.

In this tutorial we’ll look into the possibilities of accompanying yourself with a groove while playing solo phrases over it. In the right hand we’ll keep the Malfuf:

The first phrase for the left hand plays simple taks on the pulse. The right hand keeps the groove.

Now we add another tak in each second bar.

The following phrase uses a syncopation. In each second bar the tak is not played on the beat, but directly afterwards.

Now we start to use the split-hand technique. The numbers in the notation stand for 2 = indexfinger, 4 = ringfinger. When you son’t see a number you can choose which of the two to use.

In the following example we play a phrase of three beats over the Malfuf that goes over 4 (depending how you feel it). After 3 bars of Malfuf you start over from the beginning. The left hand phrase consists of one 8th note pause followed by 2 8th note Taks.

And back to the split-hand. The fast double-strokes in the following examples can be started either with ring- or indexfinger. Depending how you play it, it will influence the fingering of the other Taks as well. If you want to be flexible simply practice both.

Example 1:

Example 2:

The last 2 examples fill up all the spaces using the split-hand technique. In the last space you play a fast double-stroke. Also here different fingerings are possible.


Example 2:

watch an example how you can combine some of theses phrases and improvise with them:

Here is another solo phrase. These videos were recorded by our member Yan: slow and fast.

Notation Key:


r = right

l = left

l4 = left ringfinger

l2 = left index finger

if there is no number, use whichever finger you prefer.

© David Kuckhermann


  1. j’aime vraiment la percutions (darbouka)et merci bien pour ce site .

  2. Thank youuuu

  3. helo dear david..
    im a tonbak player,im from iran,i cant speak english very well,at about 19 years i play tonbak..
    your very very good david,i hope to see u one day and play percussion with u.
    i have lots of information from percussion instrument of iran,specially tonbak

  4. Thank u man…i looked everywhere for a perfect learning and i found it here…cant imagine how glad i am…
    i had a darkuba in home and i had no idea how to use it…
    think i have some now…

  5. thanks for letting me know, the problem should be fixed now.

  6. Hi, I can´t watch de video samples, when I click the video link I read “page not found”.
    I’d like watch them very much. Thanks.

  7. hey! thanks a bunch for this. unfortunately i could not find the mp4 files to see if i am getting anywhere near! would be obliged if anyone could paste some links over here!


  8. Great Stuff! Very well explained! Like it!

  9. you are so nice kk thank you,

    i’ll practice and practice and…..

  10. you are good & i want learn from you

  11. wow., so nice stuff !
    thanks alot.
    leace post more like this.

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