Product Code: AD-djprdc1050

Djembe Drum – Premium – 10in diameter, 50cm high, deep carved

£109.00 exc VAT

  • KS1
  • KS2
  • KS3
  • KS4
  • SEND

Age 5 - 18+

  • Instruments 1
  • Players 1
  • L 26cm x W 26cm x H 50cm
  • Out of stock
  • More arriving soon

This is the best of the best – a truly professional quality Djembe, finished with utmost care inside and out.

For soloists, workshop leaders and djembe aficionados everywhere, the drum has been turned from a single piece of mahogany and has professional quality, pre-stretched nylon stringing and a thick, natural goatskin head for a long life and a mellow tone.

The inside of the drum has been specially shaped and finished so that it is balanced towards the high-end slaps, and it has a hand-tuned throat for the fullest, clearest tone. The ‘Djembe Drum – Premium – 10in diameter, 50cm high, deep carved’ is suitable for 6 years old upwards and is of a comfortable size for bigger children, teenagers and adults.

The beautiful 1cm deep carvings have been created by talented woodcarvers and are based on African imagery.

Premium quality rucksack-style carry bags, harnesses and belts are also available, which will enable you to get the most out of you Djembe on the go and protect it from a large amount of general wear and tear in transit.

N.B. For SEN settings: Please put a note with your order to indicate that it is needed for an SEN setting, so that we know to include the relevant materials.

Product Information

What's included

The Djembe is one of the most accessible of all instruments and it is quick and easy to get started. It is also one of the most musically and socially rewarding of instruments. There’s no limit to the playing possibilities for serious students.

The following is an extract from ‘Andy Gleadhill’s African Drumming Book 1’;

‘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 Djembe 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.’

How to Play

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.

You can find information on basic playing techniques in Andy Gleadhill’s African Drumming and Percussion Buddies books (both included with this pack) and the following short videos show you how it’s done.

But please use headphones or play through hifi when watching the videos as laptop and pad speakers won’t be able to reproduce the lower frequencies and the drums will sound very tinny!

In the following two videos Andy Gleadhill demonstrates basic and more advanced playing techniques:

And in the following videos Richard McKerron demonstrates the three main djembe techniques: Open, Bass and Slap.

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 Djembe 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.

To produce a  good Slap tone, check out the following clip:

To augment the timbre of the ensemble, try adding other types of Shaker and hand percussion (eg Clapsticks or Wood Blocks). Metallic tones, such as Cow bells, also fit well and stand out high above the Djembe sounds.

To completely round out the sound of the percussion group, add a Dundun, Sangban and Kenkeni. This trio of double ended African drums make a superb underlying support system for Djembe groups and soloists, and together can make for truly spell-binding performances.

How it's made

Our djembes are all made by hand using top quality materials and traditional techniques.

Wooden Djembes

Our wooden drums are made from logs of sustainably grown mahogany and are certified by the international SVLK system. The smaller sizes are made from timber offcuts left over after bigger pieces have been selected for furniture, flooring or for bigger drums.

The wooden log 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 is 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 a good balance of frequencies produced byt the main slap, bass and tone techniques.

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. 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 or stretch and can cause problems.

Next the shell is treated either with natural linseed oil or a natural-base sealer, to protect it against scratching, or, if it’s a painted style, the shell is sent off to the painting specialists.

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, but 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 until it produces a satisfying note. We always leave enough spare string attached to the Djembe so that, should you need to, it will be possible to use this to tune it up at some later date using the Mali weave technique (see Care & Maintenance section). We then add further coats of linseed oil or sealer and our signature rubber base, which not only protects the drum from cracking if it gets dropped, it also protects polished floors and tables from impact damage as well.

Finally we check the playing head diameter and other dimensions, we re-check all the drum edges and surfaces to make sure there are no splinters or sharp edges, we recheck the finishing quality and the tuning and, if necessary, retune the drum. Only then does the Djembe get final QC signed off as meeting Drums for Schools standards.

Bamboo Djembes

Our unique bamboo djembes are made using traditional basket weaving techniques using the skin from locally harvested bamboo. The weaving is done over a mould the shape of the djembe, to ensure that the finished product is a standard size.

A strong wooden ring, shaped exactly the same as the top of a wooden djembe, is then connected to the bamboo shell and the bamboo shell is reinforced on the inside with a mix of resin and sawdust. This gives rigidity to the drum and it also makes sure that it’s completely air-tight and resonant.

A thick natural goatskin is then stretched over the drum head and tightened using exactly the same traditional techniques as are used for our wooden djembes and a rubber base is also added, same as for the wooden ones.

Finally we check the playing head diameter and other dimensions, we re-check all the drum edges and surfaces to make sure there are no splinters or sharp edges, we recheck the finishing quality and the tuning and, if necessary, retune the drum. Only then does the Djembe get final QC signed off as meeting Drums for Schools standards.

Care & maintenance

Djembes and other drums are extremely tough and will give satisfaction for 5 to 10 years and longer, if you treat them with care and follow the guidelines below.

Wooden Drums

Wooden drum shells should be kept at a reasonably constant temperature and humidity (normal room temperature is best) and not placed near to a heat source or stored in damp conditions.

Be sure not to let the skin get damp as, if it does, it will lose its tension, and when the tension goes, the sound becomes loose and flat. 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 and the tension and sound will recover.

You may find that there’s a small bag of wedges supplied with your Djembe. These are for quickly 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 out evenly around the drum. This will increase the tension of the strings and increase the pitch of the drum. You can buy extra wedges very cheaply – click here.

You may also wish to learn how to tune a Djembe using the traditional Mali weave technique, which uses the spare rope wrapped around the Djembe and is a long term solution. This is the professional way to do it and will give you much more control. Take a look at the following video and try it for yourself. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, you’ll find it’s very quick and easy.

Guarantee

We use the best quality materials and traditional manufacturing methods to make our African Drumming instruments and accessories and they’re designed for serious, long term use in the classroom. Looked after properly the instruments will give many years of satisfaction, even if used several times a day and the materials and workmanship are guaranteed as follows:

Djembe and other drum shells – 10 years. But keep at a stable temperature and humidity and don’t let the shells get damp or wet. Don’t leave in direct sunlight or near a heat source as this can cause the wood to dry out and crack. Although they’re naturally tough, handle with respect and don’t drop them or throw them about as rough treatment can also cause cracks to appear.

Drum skins -2 years. But keep hard or sharp points (including rings and other jewellery) away from drum skins at all times. Keep skins dry and don’t leave in direct sunlight or near a heat source as this can cause the skin to dry out and split. If you need to tighten the drum skins, be sure not to over do it as over-tightening can also cause skins to split.

Hand percussion instruments – 2 years. But treat with care and don’t drop them or handle roughly as natural materials are not as strong as plastics and may crack or break, particularly if dropped on a hard surface.

Storage/carry bags and accessories – 2 years. But keep bags away from sharp points and don’t over-fill them or force the zips.

If you should get any problems with any of our African Drumming instruments or accessories, please take photos of the issues and email them to us with the order/invoice number and a brief description of how the problem arose and we’ll get back to you right away.

Delivery

We work with a small number of specialist logistic companies to deliver your order quickly and economically. The delivery method varies, depending on your location and the size of the order, as follows:

UK Locations

Orders up to 5kg – Courier 2 to 3 working day delivery. This would typically include books, smaller instruments, percussion baskets and djembes up to 40cm.

Orders over 5kg – Courier, next working day delivery. Most orders are sent this way.

Large orders – Pallet service, 3 to 5 working day delivery. Used for large orders and those with more fragile contents.

Please note:

  1. Above timings are from dispatch date. Time from placing your order will usually be one or two days longer, depending on the order and destination.
  2. Delivery to offshore or Highland addresses may take longer and may cost more than to UK mainland addresses and we’ll quote and agree the costs with you in advance. Please note that in these cases it’s fine to go ahead and place your order, and there’s no obligation on your part until the delivery costs have been quoted and accepted by you.
  3. For some destinations, where a courier service isn’t available, we may send by Royal Mail instead.

International Locations

Orders weighing less than 1kg and not too bulky – Post Office Airmail. This would include books and smaller percussion instruments.

Orders weighing more than about 1kg and large orders – international courier or pallet service. We’ll obtain competitive quotes and agree these with you in advance.

Please note that it’s fine to go ahead and place your international order prior to confirming shipping costs, and that there’s no obligation on your part until the delivery costs have been quoted and accepted by you. Payment for international orders, including shipping costs, is required before dispatch of the goods.

Returns

Please let us know straight away if anything arrives damaged or otherwise in a substandard condition and we’ll be happy to replace it, refund the cost or provide you with an alternative product to your satisfaction. Speed is of the essence here as most courier companies will only accept responsibility for damage in transit if the damage is reported within 24 hours of delivery.

 In the event of damage, please take photographs, including any damage to the packaging, and email these to us ASAP.

Similarly, if an instrument  develops a fault within 12 months of purchase in the course of normal use (though excluding fair wear and tear), please let us know, and we’ll replace it or refund the cost. It’s also very helpful for us to see photos of the issue as this gives us solid information for changing the design, the production method or the packing materials.

But please do contact us before returning any damaged or substandard items. Once we’ve approved their return, please send to:  Drums for Schools Limited, 21 Shaftesbury Avenue, Burton Joyce NG14 5GL 

We really appreciate your feedback in the case of faults (or if you think an instrument could be improved in any way) and we take all such feedback very seriously indeed.

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I’d not only purchased drums from you at my last school, I’d also bought drums for the feeder primary schools to use and share (which worked out realy well), so I had no hesitation to use you again when I moved to my new school. Everything went swimmingly and we have just been using the drums as part of our summer school activities – thank you very much. No doubt I’ll be ordering something again soon!

Charlotte Evans
Ecclesfield School
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