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Ed Sheeran - Shape of you

Author: Facundo Alvarez, Percussion teacher and Facilitator

Hi, Welcome to this section on my website in which I go around several songs that are great to play percussion.

The idea of this section is to share some songs that are really useful for beginner percussionist to start playing percussion. Using songs to learn and practice percussionist is really helpful because at the same time you´ll develop your playing skill, your tempo sense and your musicality.

The teaching method that you´re going to experience along this video and the rest of this series is the one that I use in my Online Classes and Courses. I created this method myself and called “The Percussion Code”. In it I condensed the best of the knowledge and experiences I develop in my more than 20 years of experience facilitating percussion learning to people of all ages and musical brackground.

In this videoblog, we’re going to play congas over a really beautiful song by a the singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran. The song is called Shape of you. The rhythms I play in the song are inspired in traditional african djembe rhythm that I adapted to play them in this pop song. 

Along the video I will teach you the basics of the rhythm and the specific rhythm play in each section of the song, so you can play the different rhythms in the Djembé and follow the song.

Also, below you can access to some FREE practice material to keep practicing and improving your playing craft along the song.

I hope you find this content challenging and fun.

Keep me updated of your progress with it.

Thanks for watching the video.

Facundo Alvarez

Learn to play percussion online

¡Choose the way to learn to Play Percussion
that best suits your times and needs!

Learn to Play Percussion: Bongó, Conga, Cajón, Djembé, Timbal Brasilero

Percussion Online Classes

In the Online Percussion Classes, I offers individual and face to face classes for you to start learn to play percussion from scratch and learn to play and make music with the percussion instrument you like – Bongó, Cajón, Conga, Djembé or Timbal Brasilero.

Percussion Online Courses

In the Online Percussion Courses I offer you different options for you to start to play percussion from scratch, develope as percussionist and learn to play and make music with the percussion instrument that you like: Bongo, Cajón, Conga, Djembé or Timbal Brasilero 

Activities suitable to all ages and levels

You don´t need to have previous knowledges of music or percussion to get started.

African Rhythms

Exploring the Art of Djembe Rhythms one beat at a time

Playing african rhythms on the djembe

Playing the Djembé


Djembe drumming is a mesmerizing art form that transcends cultures and borders, captivating audiences with its infectious beats and vibrant energy. Whether you’re a seasoned percussionist or a curious beginner, delving into the world of djembe rhythms offers a rich and rewarding musical journey.

At its core, playing rhythms on the djembe is an intimate conversation between the drummer and the drum. The drum’s distinct shape and taut skin give it a unique voice, capable of producing a wide range of tones, from deep, resonant bass notes to crisp, high-pitched slaps. Mastering these techniques allows the player to convey a diverse array of emotions and musical expressions.

To start, it’s essential to understand the basic hand positions: the open tone (played with the flat of the hand), the bass tone (created by striking the center of the drum with a slightly cupped hand), and the slap (achieved by striking the edge of the drum with the fingers). Combining these techniques with various hand placements on the drum’s surface creates a dynamic palette of sounds.

Beyond technique, rhythm in djembe playing is about feeling the music. It’s about the connection between the player, the drum, and the audience. It’s about finding your own unique groove within the framework of established rhythms or creating something entirely new.

Incorporating djembe into your musical repertoire can be a deeply enriching experience. Whether you’re drumming alone or in a group, the djembe’s primal beats have a way of drawing people together, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.

So, whether you’re drawn to the cultural heritage of West Africa or simply seeking an exciting new musical adventure, exploring djembe rhythms is an endeavor that promises both personal growth and the joy of creating music that resonates with others. Embrace the drum, let the rhythms flow, and embark on a journey that transcends boundaries, one beat at a time. 

Ed Sheeran

Shape of You, a modern anthem

Ed sheeran plays the guitar as a percussionist

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” stands as a modern musical masterpiece, effortlessly blending infectious beats with heartfelt lyrics. Released in 2017, this chart-topping hit quickly became an anthem for love and desire.

From the very first note, “Shape of You” hooks the listener with its infectious rhythm. The pulsating beat, combined with the syncopated melody, creates a track that’s impossible to resist moving to. It’s a perfect sample of Sheeran’s ability to craft a tune that transcends musical boundaries.

The lyrics of “Shape of You” delve into the intoxicating allure of a newfound attraction. Sheeran’s ability to paint vivid imagery with his words is on full display here. Lines like “The club isn’t the best place to find a lover” and “We talk for hours and hours about the sweet and the sour” resonate with anyone who’s experienced the thrill of a new romance.

Ed Sheeran’s voice is the epitome of soulful and sincere. His delivery in “Shape of You” is both tender and passionate, perfectly capturing the emotions of the lyrics. His distinctive timbre adds a layer of authenticity that elevates the song to another level.

The guitar riff that underpins the track is deceptively simple yet undeniably catchy. It provides a solid foundation for the song, allowing the vocals and percussion to shine. It’s a testament to Sheeran’s mastery of his chosen instrument.

Years after its release, “Shape of You” remains a cultural touchstone. Its enduring popularity speaks volumes about its impact on the music industry. It’s a track that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.

In summary, “Shape of You” is a shining example of Ed Sheeran’s prowess as a songwriter and performer. Its irresistible groove, heartfelt lyrics, and Sheeran’s soulful vocals combine to create a musical experience that’s nothing short of extraordinary.

percussion facilitator

Facundo Alvarez
Percussion Facilitator

For 20 years I´ve dedicated myself to develope educational and recreational materials and experiences, with the goal of facilitate access to percussion learning to people of all ages

In all the projects I work motivated by the premise that "Percussion is for everybody" and that "Everyone can learn to play percussion".

My main goal is to help, as many people as I can, to live the unique experience of making music with percussion instruments.