Djembe Buying Guides


When buying an authentic African djembe, it's important to know what to look for. With so many commercial drums on the market, it is often hard for the first time buyer to tell the difference.

~Here is a quick overview of some factors to keep in mind:

-A djembe should have 3/16" (4mm-5mm) rope that is round and not frayed
-The bearing edge should be round and consistent
-There should 25 or more loops from the upper ring to the lower ring
-Symmetry across the entire drum
-Rings should be snug against the shell
-The interior should be smooth
-Medium to Heavy in weight (15-30lbs)
-A medium to thick goatskin, or a thin cowskin
-One row of rope diamonds already pulled (max)
-A 12-14" head (for a full sized djembe)
-Make sure the top ring isn't slipping over the ring inside the skin
-See if the very bottom ring is crooked
-Rings should be wrapped with cloth, not bent, rusted, or eating through the skin
-Look for open cracks in the wood
-Make sure a dark stain hiding any imperfections
-Skins should be free of holes and bug bites

For an in-depth djembe buying guide check out the following article from African Rhythm Traders:
Rhythm Trader's Djembe Buying Guide

*Still want to know more? Here is another great buying guide from Hawk Dancing:
What to look for in an African Djembe


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