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Djembe Buying Guide

2020’s top 10 Djembe Rallymates buying Guide

The most important tip for buying a djembe is to look for a good condition wood. A single piece of hardwood is usually used in traditional djembes. You should check out the shell carefully and avoid purchasing such a piece of a drum with larger cracks or chips.

  • Look for a good condition rope

Resting a djembe is a difficult task, so look for frayed ropes. Slight fraying is okay, but anything less than ¾ of the original chain width is cause for concern.

  • Check the weak spots on the drum Skin

A razor is used to shave a genuine drum skin. Sometimes if this is not done carefully, it can cause damage. Check out the skin for damage. Also, a few shallow notches aren’t serious, but if a flap of skin sticks out, you should reconsider.

​ Weak spots appear as cuts, scars, spots, warts, skin flakes, or holes in the skin. Try this trick: Turn the drum over and have a look inside. Now hold it up to the light. Look inside and turn it over to check the drum skin for any problems. A thinner part of the skin allows more light to pass through, i.e. appears brighter. If the skin looks dangerously thin anywhere, it can tear under pressure. Synthetic skins available in some music stores are much better in this section.

  • Examine woodlice or termites

You better believe it! These little suction cups can turn your drum into a cardboard apartment. So look for tiny holes in the wood. Pat the drum lightly to see if it throws sawdust. These problems are not found in fiberglass or machine-made djembes.

  • Check out the drum skin either it’s tight or not

Newly scratched drums cannot be too tight at first to avoid the risk of breakage. “Well-prepared” (older) skin should feel almost rock-hard. When you press in the middle of the face with your thumb, you shouldn’t move more than a few millimeters. It might be tight if you have more movement.

This is explained when setting a djembe and if you have a good back and about an hour, you can do it yourself. However, if you do buy, it might be worth asking them to do it for you or deduct a few dollars from the price.

  • Good sound

​ If you are a beginner, it is difficult to judge the sound quality. However, take the time to listen to them carefully before purchasing them. If you think you like a drum that sounds lower, look for a drum with one or more of the following characteristics: thick wood, a thick face, and a thick drumhead (> 1mm). Loud (higher) pitched drums are smaller, lighter, or have a thinner drum skin. In any case, the drum should have a strong and even resonance, and also it should not sound too long after striking.

  • Cosmetic Examination

Make sure it is straight and symmetrical when resting on level ground. The metal rings should be straight. It is also important that the wood has a pleasant color and grain.

  • Weight

Most full-size djembes weigh around 8 to 12 kg. If you have to travel to different places, you may regret buying a very heavy or large drum. If you buy a small “Curio Shop” djembe, you may have more difficulty playing and you may not have the full range of sounds.

  • Purchase a strap

There are a lot of fancy straps available but 3m 30mm wide nylon or canvas belts are sufficient.

  • Purchase a bag

Always look for the best djembe bags that will help you in different occasions.

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