Choosing the right authentic Djembe for you: : Alpha Rhythm Roots - Djembe Drumming Blog
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Choosing the right authentic Djembe for you:

by Alpha (Administrator) on 01/17/11

This article assumes that you have already done part of your homework, and know how to recognize an authentic West African Djembe. We are also assuming that your intention is to buy an authentic professional sized instrument which allows you to learn the playing techniques in a class. 

When buying an authentic Djembe drum, pay particular attention to the circumference and height of the Djembe head. If you place both hands in the middle of the Djembe head, with index fingers and thumbs touching and no space in between both hands, you should have at least a 1 inch space all around your hands to the edge of the Djembe head. The Djembe height should be at least the height of your knees when you are seated on a chair, preferably at least 1 inch higher. Since the length of most people’s arms and hands are directly proportional to their height, the technique described above works with 99.9% of people. All our professional full sized Djembes have an average head diameter of 13.5 inches, and an average height of 24.5 inches which fits 99% of people. Unless you are as tall as a pro basketball player, you don’t have to worry about instrument dimensions when you buy one of our Professional Djembe.

The 2nd thing to consider is the weight of the instrument.There are no direct relationship between the weight and the musical quality of an authentic Djembe. Some players strike very hard when they play, so playing a heavier Djembe will allow them to keep their Djembe more stable. Unless you are one of these very strong striker, choosing any of our dedicated West African wood type for Djembes will not make any difference.  Other players want a lighter Djembe because they are carrying it everywhere all the time! Visit the Djembe wood page of our website for further information about wood weight relating to wood type.  

 The 3rd thing to consider is whether you would like a skin rim to cover the ring on the edge of the Djembe. This absolutely does not affect the sound, and is purely esthetics.

The last step is also esthetic,: wood color and wood carving. Some people say that the Djembe picks you…not the other way around!

 For further information, please visit our web page called "Djembe advice", dedicated to recognizing an authentic West African Djembe from a look-alike.  

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Comments (1)

1. Ed said on 10/2/11 - 08:34PM
Great tips. Thank you


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