Djembe - standard - 9" diameter, 50cm high - deep carved

Medium size and setting new standards, this is a top quality multi-purpose djembe, easily carried and specially designed for serious, long term use in schools, clubs and drumming circles. The drum has been turned from a single piece of mahogany and has professional quality, pre-stretched stringing and a thick, natural goatskin head for a long life and a mellow tone.

Other features which keep our standard djembes ahead of the competition are the exclusive rubber base, which protects both the drum and the floor, the extra smooth finishing inside and out (no splinters or rough edges) and the bag of wooden tuning wedges, which make it quick and easy to tune up the djembe. The drum is 20 inches high and has a diameter of 9 to 10.5 inches; suitable for 6 years old upwards and big enough for two-handed drumming by children or grown-ups. The slap is hard and the bass very impressive for its size.

This drum has a superbly carved 1cm deep African design around it's base. Similar drums are also available to order with mica instead of goatskin and with painted and plain finishes. Rucksack-style carry bags, harnesses and drum hats also available - see Drum Accessories section.

2+ Years
CodeRRPEdu Price
D-dj50sdc £95.71   £67.00

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More about the Djembe - standard - 9" diameter, 50cm high - deep carved

The djembe is one of the most accessible of all instruments and it's quick and easy to get started. It's also one of the most musically and socially rewarding of instruments and there's no limit to the playing possibilities for serious students.The following is an extract from Andy Gleadhill's African Drumming Guide - see Other /Teaching Resources for more info. “When playing an open tone the drum should be struck with the whole length of the fingers on the edge of the drum nearest to your body with your elbows slightly raised. If you imagine the drumhead to be a clock face your right hand will be on the four and your left hand on the eight. Your hands must not remain in contact with the drum ounce you have played the beat but should return to your natural playing position just above the drum. A good way to achieve this technique is to imagine that the drumhead is very hot, like a radiator, and you do not want to leave your hand on it any longer than necessary. To produce a good Bass tone the D’jembe must be struck in the middle of the drumhead with the hand slightly cupped, palm down, again with the hand returning quickly from the drum. You can use your whole arm and pretend that you are bouncing a basketball this will result in the correct action for playing good Bass tones."

What's included

Music is an important part of life in Africa and fulfils many roles. Music is used in religious rituals, at ceremonies such weddings, funerals and the birth of a child as well as an accompaniment to day-to-day activities. There is music for working in the fields, tending cattle and collecting water as well as vastly contrasting music used for anything from lullabies to war songs. Everyone participates in music making but there are also professional musicians and master drummers who are highly valued. The use of music gives a cultural perspective to everyday life in Africa. The prolific use of drums in African music demonstrates the importance of rhythm as the main ingredient in music making. African drumming is a language that can send messages, tell stories and communicate emotions. Drums in Africa come in many shapes and sizes and have many different playing styles. The drum has a high cultural status in Africa and there are many rituals that surround making, teaching and playing drums. When we play the African drums and rhythms we are immersing ourselves in thousands of years of cultural and social history and share the universal joy of music making. Extract from Andy Gleadhill's African Drumming Guide - see Other /Teaching Resources for more info.

What goes well with the Djembe - standard - 9" diameter, 50cm high - deep carved

The djembe can be played in many ways and is capable of producing a range of different tones from a deep bass to a high crack so an ensemble of differently sized djembes can produce a wide tonal range. But try adding different types of shaker and hand percussion (eg clapsticks or woodblocks). Metallic tones (eg cow bells) also fit well and stand out high above the djembe sounds. Try also dundun, sangban and kenkeni – this trio of double ended African drums make a superb underlying support for djembe soloists and together can make for spell-binding performances.

How the Djembe - standard - 9" diameter, 50cm high - deep carved is made

Our standard djembes are all made from sustainably grown mahogany and the 40cm and 50cm sizes are made from offcuts left over after the bigger pieces have been selected for furniture, flooring or for making bigger drums. The wood is cut to size and then turned on a lathe to produce the rough djembe shell. The rough shell is then finished by hand to high standards of shape, thickness and smoothness. The top rim in particular has to be very carefully rounded and finished so as to give a comfortable playing experience and the inside shape is honed so that the drum can later produce the optimal combination of high slap and full bass. (The inside shape is critical for sound quality and our premium djembes have a different internal shape – one which accentuates the higher slap sounds favoured by djembe soloists). The drum shell is then treated against insect infestation and left to dry in the sun for several days so that the moisture content reduces. Next we add our signature rubber base – this not only protects the drum from cracking if it gets dropped, it also protects polished floors and tables form damage. After this a groove is carved slightly above the drum waist ready to receive the first of 3 welded steel rings, which will later provide the foundation for the drum's stringing. The 3 steel rings are made from strong steel rods, which are cut to length and welded into circles. The lower ring has to be welded right onto the drum. You'll find that lesser quality drums often use plaited metal wires instead of welded steel and over time these can move and can cause problems. Next the shell is treated with a natural-base sealer, which protects it against scratching and gives it a beautiful finish. After this a piece of high quality tanned goatskin is cut to size and fitted over the drum head under the top metal ring. The drum skin we use is thicker than that used by many other suppliers as we've found that this not only makes the drums much more durable, it also makes for a mellower tone. Next we use traditional stringing techniques to stretch the goatskin between the three metal rings, gradually increasing the tension untill it produces a satisfying note. We always leave enough spare string attached to the djembe so that, should you need to, it's possible to use this to tune it up at some later date. (But since we also supply a bag of wooden tuning wedges with each djembe, you'll probably find that these provide a quicker, easier solution – just push the wedges in between the vertical drum strings and the wooden drum shell – this will increase the tension of the strings and increase the pitch of the drum.) Finally we check and finish all the drum edges and surfaces once again to make sure there are no splinters or sharp edges, we recheck the tuning and if neccesary retune it, and only then does the djembe get signed off as meeting QC stnadards and proceed for packing.

How to look after the Djembe - standard - 9" diameter, 50cm high - deep carved

Be sure not to let the skin get damp as it will lose its tension and when the tension goes, so does the sound. If you do have an accident you can always try using a hair dryer (set to LOW) to warm up and tighten the skin – or put it in the sun for twenty minutes and it will soon dry out. You'll see that there's also a small bag of wedges supplied with your djembe – these are for tuning it up on cold damp days or if you want a higher pitch for solo work or performance. just push the wedges in between the vertical drum strings and the wooden drum shell, spreading the wedges oout evenely around the drum. This will increase the tension of the strings and increase the pitch of the drum.