Are you tired of the traditional instruments? Do you want to add a flair of exoticness to the music you’re producing? Do you want to make everyone dance around the beat of your drums? Or, maybe you went on a vacation to the lands of Africa and want to reminisce, capture, and preserve the beautiful culture in your music? Well, an African djembe drum is what you’re looking for!
What is a drum djembe? What is a djembe made up of? Which djembe drum should I buy? This is just an example of some of the questions that come in your mind when you decide to buy a djembe drum. Well, thank your lucky stars as today we have decided to clear any confusion that you might have regarding this percussion instrument. So hold your horses and read along!
What Is The Best Djembe Drum To Buy?
The simplest answer to this question is that the best djembe drum to buy is one that is the best for YOU. What do we mean by that? Each drum has its specifications. The best amongst those would be one that is well suited to you and your capabilities, a drum that makes you feel comfortable and at ease.
Below we have reviewed the 10 best djembe drums on the market today:
Remo DJ-0014-05 Mondo Djembe Drum
The very first drum on our list is the Remo DJ-0014-05 Mondo Djembe Drum. Remo has been the number one drumhead company for over 60 years. Their products take a lead over other companies in the markets. The DJ-0014-05 Mondo Djembe Drum is available in three sizes; 10″, 12″, 14″ and 16″. It is available in different designs such as Camouflage, Adinkra, Black Earth, Flame, Green Kinte Kloth, and Shadow Flame.
Remo DJ-0014-05 Mondo Pros:
The owners were very pleased with this djembe. One of the owners claimed that it was “love at first slap”. These reviewers claimed that the djembe had very deep bass tones that added to the overall great sound quality. Many people also praised the “sound carrying” quality of this djembe, claiming that they didn’t need to use a mic or an amplifier to boost the sound. The number of styles added to the overall pleasing aesthetic of the djembe.
Remo DJ-0014-05 Mondo Cons:
A very small portion of reviewers had issues that the top drumhead portion wasn’t glued properly and came apart.
This is a great option if you’re looking for a djembe that has an amazing look as well as topnotch sound quality.
Meinl Percussion KSDB10 Djembe Drums
The second option on our list is of course the Meinl Percussion KSDB10. Manufactured by Meinl, the “big 4″ company of percussion instruments, there is no compromise on the quality of this djembe. This is a medium-sized djembe with 10″ x 20” dimensions. Meinl Percussion KSDB10 is a rope-tuned travel series djembe.
Meinl Percussion KSDB10 Pros:
Buyers were pleased with this product. According to the reviewers, not only does it have a sturdy built but is also worth every penny. Owners couldn’t stop singing praises for the sound quality of these drums. Another plus point they noted was that this product came with various guidebooks to guide purchasers regarding the tuning process of the drums.
Meinl Percussion KSDB10 Cons:
Contrary to the positive reviews, the negative reviews weren’t entirely pleased with how the drums sounded, claiming they sounded too bassy. Others were unsatisfied with the size, claiming it was too small for them.
A good and comparatively cheap option!
Meinl Percussion HDJ4-L Djembe
This isn’t the last Meinl product on this list, but it is one of the best. The Meinl Percussion HDJ4-L is exactly what a dream djembe is made up of. Carved from solid mahogany with a goatskin shell, this djembe takes the cake with its design, sound, and feel. This drum has a playing surface measuring 12” wide, standing tall at 24”. The tuning system is a Mali-Weave system made of high-quality nylon rope.
Meinl Percussion HDJ4-L Pros:
Reviewers loved the fantastic sound and look this drum. Others were equally pleased by the craftsmanship as they were by the quality of sound.
Meinl Percussion HDJ4-L Cons:
The negative reviews were mainly focused on receiving damaged pieces. Although this was solved once the shipper was contacted.
If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to the real deal, this is it!
Hand-carved Djembe Drum From Africa
Handcrafted in a village in Africa by supported by the non-profit Africa Heartwood Project, this djembe is the real deal. It is made from solid, dense hand-carved wood shell and natural West African goatskin.
The reviews for this one cannot be more positive. There is no doubt that it sounds great as it is literally what native Africans use. All of its owners are very pleased with this djembe. The carvings just added to the beauty of the djembe. The warm, full bass sound pleased everyone. The positive reviews on this one were overwhelming!
The only con was that it takes too long to ship, which is quite understandable since it is imported from Africa.
If you want a great sounding djembe, while also supporting the livelihood of people in Africa, this is the instrument for you!
Remo Djembe (DJ601270)
It is impossible to have a list of best djembes without at least having 2-3 Remo djembe models. Hence, the Remo Djembe (DJ601270). This Apex Djembe is a sleek modern relative of the more usual traditional models. The black, 12 x 22, model not only attracts the eye but also has unparalleled sound. It has a steel countertop that owes to the easy tuning and added elegance.
Remo Djembe Pros:
Many reviewers claimed that it was better than they had expected it to be. The sounds were exactly how they wanted them to be. It comes with a drum key, which was a plus point noted by many reviewers. The synthetic drumhead isn’t rough on the skin. Others were also pleasantly surprised by how lightweight and portable the product is.
Remo Djembe Cons:
Some users claimed that the sound was way too tiny for their preference.
If you’re looking to show off your music skills while also looking sleek and modern, Remo Djembe (DJ601270)is the product for you!
Meinl Percussion HDJ3-L
Meinl has one of the best models of djembes. Meinl Percussion HDJ3-L is the precursor to the Meinl Percussion HDJ4-L. It has solid mahogany carved shell with a goatskin drum head of 12″. The head is tuned with a traditional Mali-Weave system, contributing to the beautiful tone and sound of this drum.
Meinl Percussion HDJ3-L Pros:
The comments for the sound quality of this drum were exceptionally well. One review said, “It’s a beautiful drum in both appearance and sound.” Others also praised the sturdy build and the design of the drum.
Meinl Percussion HDJ3-L Cons:
Some complained that the bass hit had too much tone, which reduced once the djembe was tuned.
Toca SFDMX-14BMB Djembe
This gem by Toca Percussions is slightly on the expensive side, but is for sure worth it! The SFDMX-14BMB is a mechanically tuned instrument, with handpicked goatskin as the head. The drum shell is made of lightweight but sturdy synthetic material. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the djembe comes with a low mass tuning system and features a new extended collar hoop for greater tuning range.
Toca SFDMX-14BMB Djembe Pros:
The sound, according to owners is loud and pleasant. People liked the look, build and the feel of this drum.
Toca SFDMX-14BMB Djembe Cons:
Some people found that there was too much bass in the sounds. Others weren’t quite pleased about receiving a damaged product.
It costs you more than the usual djembe, but it also sounds better than one.
Remo Djembe, MONDO
Another Remo on the list? Well, considering their quality and history it should come off as no surprise. The Remo Djembe MONDO, is the perfect example of class, sophistication, and durability. This drum is based on the traditional tones and sounds of the African djembes. It’s a variation of the dirst Remo that we reviewed.
Remo Mondo Pros:
Reviewers adored the crisp sounds of the drum, The crafted skin added to the beauty. It is very lightweight as well as portable.
Remo Mondo Cons:
There were no cons to be noted, except for some problems in shipping.
If you’re on a budget, this is it for you!
Beginner Djembe Drum
Last but not least, finally something for all the beginners out there. These djembe drums are made of mahogany wood shells covered with alpine cord and a high-quality goatskin. This beginner set is available in various sizes, so you can rock on comfortably!
Drummers who bought this product were satisfied with the quality and the tones of the drum. Many people bought this set as their first drum and are immensely happy with it. The build of the shells and the head is also laudable.
Some users didn’t like the build of the drums, claiming that it was fragile. Others had minor complaints with shipping.
If you are a beginner, this drum is for you!
Gibraltar GPDS Djembe Drum
Now that you have a clear mind about what djembe drum you have to buy, check out this Gibraltar GPDS stand! It is made of high quality and is perfect for djembe drummers that like to hit it hard. It is fully adjustable and fits drums with diameters of 16″ or less. It has a height range of 18” to 27-1/2”.
Gibraltar GPDS Pros:
Many long term users claimed they were pleased with the sturdiness of this stand. Others complimented the versatility of it. Drummers claimed that it didn’t bounce around or loosen once the drums were fitted and played.
Gibraltar GPDS Cons:
The rubber feet can slip off easily.
What Are Djembe Drums?
Djembe Drums are a unique goblet-shaped drum from West Africa, the djembe is one of the most upbeat percussion musical instruments. Ditch the drumsticks as these drums are played by bare hands. According to the Bambara tribe of Mali, the djembe got its name from the traditional African phrase “Anke djé, anke bé” which translates to “everyone gather together in peace”. Together these words capture the true essence of this instrument.
What is the Djembe drum made of?
The djembe is around 400-800 years old. Traditionally, a djembe shell is made of a single type of hardwood, whereas the drumhead is made from animal skin. It is tuned by ropes. In olden days, blacksmiths used to make djembes. These djembes would be customized according to the needs of the drummers that would commission it. Since, a djembe has a great cultural as well as religious value in the African culture, the blacksmith before cutting down the tree would perform a sacrifice, give offerings to the spirits of trees they cut, and ask the tree for its permission. Unlike other drums, a djembe doesn’t have a smooth interior. Instead, a properly hand carved djembe has a scallop interior that owes to the quality of sound.
Today, a factory-made djembe shell is made of various hard and dense species of wood. The drumheads on the other hand are made of synthetic materials. Modern djembes exclusively use synthetic rope, most commonly of kernmantle construction.
What Size Djembe Should I Buy?
In a djembe, like every other instrument, there is no “correct” size that you have to buy. It all depends on your height and hand size. Typically, when we talk about the size of a djembe we refer to the diameter of its drumhead. A standard full-size djembe has a diameter of 12-13 inches and a height of 24 inches. It is perfect for most adult men and women. On the contrary, a djembe with a diameter of 7-8″ and a height of 14-16″ is a miniature version perfect most 2-5-year-olds.
A common way to determine the size of the djembe drum that you should buy is to sit on a chair and measure the distance between the floor to around 3-4 inches above your thigh, using a measuring tape. This method determines the height of the djembe well-suited to you. This can be closely matched with a corresponding drumhead diameter from the list below:
How Much Does A Djembe Drum Cost?
Once again, there is no “correct” price for djembe drums. It depends on your budget and experience. In general, we would suggest that if you are fairly new to the art of paying djembes, you spend on a low priced djembe to practice and grasp the technique. Once you gain more experience and are well acquainted you can invest in a higher-priced drum.
Here we reviewed different choices, ranging from within budget to high-end drum sets: https://thestepkidsband.com/best-djembe-drums/#what-is-the-best-djembe-drum-to-buy
Best Djembe Drumming Patterns for Beginners
Here’s a quick video that explain the best drumming pattern for beginner Djembe players
In this article, we’ve answered all questions that you might have before going for a perfect drum. We’ve analyzed reviews from various owners to give you a full unbiased review on the top 10 best djembe drums. So go on, impress your friends with your music!