What is a Djembe drum?

By | April 6, 2021


Deep are goblet-shaped drums that are played with the hands instead of with a set of sticks or a hanging one. They are usually made of wood and have a skin stretched over the top. The average size of the drum is about a foot wide and two meters long, although smaller sizes are also made. Djembe drums are of African origin. They are believed to have evolved and spread by the Numu, or Mandinka / Susu blacksmith, who migrated west from the Niger River. However, the exact source of origin is not known, as the Mandinka / Susu population inhabited such an extensive area in West Africa.


Djembe drums are made up of a single type of wood that gets hollow. Usually this tree is dimba (Devil’s Wood), but it can also be expanded by other forests such as khadi. The choice of wood is strongly influenced by trees that are available to the drum manufacturer. The skin of the drum, which is the head of the drum, is traditionally formed from goatskin, but the drum maker can also use skins from zebra, deer, antelope and other animals that are available based on the region.


A djembe is set by pulling and twisting ropes or strings attached to the skin (drum head). Setting up a drum really affects their tones incredibly. The harder the drum, the higher the pitch. The smaller the drum pitch.


The sound of a djembe drum is affected by several factors. The first of these is wood. Harder forests tend to be more resonant in sound. The shape of the drum, including carvings, also affects the sound because the shape affects the reflection of the sound waves ts the sound, as some skins are tougher or thinner than others.

Use and buy

Although djembe drums are African, they are used in music all over the world. Famous artists and bands that have used djembe drums in their music are Grateful Dead, Incubus and Paul Simon. Depending on the group and musician, the djembe can be a small part of the total rhythmic section and the sound, or it can be the whole rhythmic section and let itself.
In traditional African music, the djembe part or sound is more prominent, often the only accompaniment. Those who want djembe drums in their music or learn to play can choose to get a handmade drum imported from Africa, which is quite expensive, but cheaper, manufactured djembe drums can also be purchased. The manufactured drums can be purchased online (see Resources) or through local music stores that can find a supplier for you or provide you with a catalog. Ethnic stores that carry African clothing and items, or from individuals who want to sell their drum, are also good sources.
The manufactured drums tend to have a sound that is less earthy and sounds a little thinner than the handmade funnel drums, but it depends on the type of synthetic material used – some manufactured drums have a sound that is almost comparable to a handmade drum. Music types include classical, hip hop, reggae, jazz, country, rap and more. Although each of these styles is fundamentally different, one thing they all have in common is rhythm. Drums of various kinds are used in almost all types of music, and ensembles consisting of drums often work all over the world. One type of drum that is popular with both professionals and amateurs is the djembe drum.