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Tips on Choosing Your First Djembe

Djembe drums became known across the globe via West African dance. In fact, the djembe is the most popular drum from Africa. It’s pure pleasure to play! As a newbie, shopping for your first djembe can be challenging. You want a top-notch, reliable, and affordable instrument, that’s understandable. Take the tips we’ve rounded up for you below into consideration to make searching for your first djembe drum a hassle-free venture.

Here’s a brief outline of what we’ll cover below:

  • what the djembe shell is made of is important;
  • rope-tuned vs. key-tuned;
  • how to buy the best djembe without ending up penniless;
  • the type of rope should be considered, too.

1. Notice What the Shell Is Made Of

Djembe shells can be made synthetic or wooden. The right choice is determined by your personal preferences. If you opt for wood, you’ll get the instrument’s beautiful native sound. Before sealing the deal, don’t forget to make sure the shell doesn’t have any cracks and the wood is solid enough. 

In case you decide on buying synthetic djembes, you’ll get a brighter sound and second-to-none durability. Fiberglass djembes are typically more long-lasting compared to their PVC counterparts. Keep a laser-like focus on the instrument head quality. Avoid buying synthetic djembes with stiff plastic heads, for it will leave you with a bass-less tinny sound. To achieve a refined booming bass and sufficient loudness, opt for fiberglass djembe drums with goat skin or fiber skin heads. 

2. Rope-Tuned vs. Key-Tuned: It’s Up to You

If you stay with a key-tuned djembe, you’ll choose the most convenient, practical approach. They are, indeed, a breeze to tune. When it comes to a lot more authentic rope-tuned honey, this type of instrument excels in retaining its tune longer. Moreover, it’ll shower you with a genuine African ‘oomph-y’ sound you will fall in love with. Don’t let the tuning ritual discourage you. It’s not as hard as it may seem. 

3. The Rope Matters

Planning to buy a rope-tuned djembe? Then you should take the type of rope into account, as well. If you end up sticking with a low-quality-rope instrument, the resulting sound will be far from pleasing. How thick the rope is is another crucial factor contributing to its strength. For example, if a 20×10 inch djembe has caught your eye, make sure its rope is at least 4mm thick. 

4. Your First Djembe Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Depending on their quality and other vital aspects we’ve mentioned above, the prices for solid djembes can range from $150 to $750. When making a purchase, always remember that this instrument is mostly about communication and having fun, and not sophistication. With that in mind, do your homework, and then make quality and your personal needs a priority. 

To Wrap Up: Good Luck! 

Now that you know a thing or two about the points to take into consideration when choosing the perfect djembe drums for you, we hope that you’ll continue your research and ultimately get the most suitable instrument for you. Good luck in your drumming adventures! 

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