Samai Thaqil Drumset Groove

The Samai is a classical 10/8 rhythm of Ottoman-Turkish origin, very popular among belly dancers for slow sections. The Arabic variation of this rhythm is known as Samai Thaqil, also spelled Sama’i Thaqil. You can hear Samai in muwashah music (or muwashshah) for the musical accompaniment of poetic texts and other genres such as megeance, classical middle eastern music, and drum solos.

The main groove in 10/8 is subdivided as 3+2+2+3, with a drumset adaptation played between hi-hat, bass drum (referred to as “doums”), and snare (referred to as “teks”) at a slow tempo.

samai thaqil drum transcription

The Samai is used in a great variety of musical genres, from jazz to psychedelic rock and funk. Here’s an application of this rhythm by the German band Karl Hector & The Malcouns, get inspired!


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