Best Djembe Drums

Introduction a foreword about the best djembe drums:

Today we’re going to talk about a piece of African’s music culture – Djembe drums and how exactly you can pick the best djembe drum for your needs.

Now, this particular drum piece is unique in terms of design and sound, and its design was used as a model for various younger percussion sets.

In the first part of this buying guide will go over the best options for every djembe price point and then we’ll go through some of it’s history and usefull things to consider.

Let’s start shall we?

QUICK RUNDOWN

If you are in a hurry these are our TOP 5 Picks:

Best Djembe Drum Reviews

Best Djembe Under $500:

djembe drum for sale

A short overview:

Now, the first item in our Best Djembe Drum list is Meinl Percussion’s PROADJ3-XXL Artisan Edition Djembe drum. Generally speaking, Meinl is one of the leading manufacturers in the percussion branch, and it’s only fitting that their model is our #1 pick.

The design of Meinl Percussion’s PROADJ3-XXL Artisan Edition Djembe drum is beautiful, to say the least, but that’s not all. Namely, the special material used in the manufacturing process of this exquisite drum piece provides extraordinary sound capabilities and durability.

Now, the only downfall is that this Djembe drum is quite expensive. Even though it costs a lot, the manifold of advantages can easily compensate for a high price, and it’s safe to say that is more than worth the cash.

 

Details, manufacturer specs, and features:

Basically, Meinl Percussion’s PROADJ3-XXL Artisan Edition Djembe drum was built using a special form of Mahogany wood, taken directly from Meinl’s plantations. Take that in a combination with the finest goat heads, and you’ll get a premium-quality Djembe drum.

As it is common with djembe drums, this model was also tuned with a special form of rope – the HTP Nylon, pre-stretched and durable.

The last detail might actually be the first you’ll notice on Meinl Percussion’s PROADJ3-XXL Artisan Edition Djembe drum – the artwork and design.

Namely, this magnificent Djembe drum features beautiful decorations, involving various carvings in the style of Rama & Sita.

 

Price point category:

As we’ve already mentioned, Meinl Percussion’s PROADJ3-XXL Artisan Edition Djembe drum belongs to the “expensive” price point category, and it’s the most expensive djembe drum piece in our review.

Nevertheless, it holds a massive value for the cash due to its outstanding performance, durability, and beauty.

  • Durability 98% 98%
  • Performance 96% 96%
  • Sound 98% 98%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Remarkably beautiful
  • Extravagant design
  • Outstanding performance
  • Premium-quality materials

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • The most expensive Djembe drum in our review

Best Djembe Under $400:

2. Hand-carved Djembe Drum From Africa – 14″x25″ Oversize with Big Bass

djembe sizes

A short overview:

Next item in our list is a beautiful Djembe drum by Africa Heartwood Project. Namely, this hand-carved Djembe drum comes from West Africa, and it bears all the signs of traditional African manufacture.

Essentially, this is a beautiful percussion piece, but it has its own benefits and downfalls.

Speaking of benefits, this is a beautiful Djembe drum that boasts marvelous sound quality. The reason for this can be found in its construction.

Particullary, the wooden shell was carved by African artisans who combined it with high-quality goat skin.

As for the downfalls, this drum piece is a bit expensive, and too plain for everyone’s taste.

 

Details, manufacturer specs, and features:

African Heartwood Hand-carved Djembe features a hand-carved wooden shell. Its head was made of goat skin, tuned with a nylon rope.

The specific dimensions feature 14” in width and 25” in length, but it’s also quite heavy, weighing nearly 16 pounds.

One of the best features of African Heartwood Hand-carved Djembe is the money-back guarantee, as you will be refunded in case of any damages.

 

Price point category:

Now, African Heartwood Hand-carved Djembe belongs to the bottom bracket of the “expensive” price point category, but it’s considered as one of the best djembe drum pieces on the market due to its remarkable quality.

  • Durability 94% 94%
  • Performance 95% 95%
  • Sound 97% 97%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Made by African Artisans
  • Premium-quality materials
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Well-balanced performance

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Oversimplified design

Best Djembe Under $300:

remo dj-0014-05 mondo djembe drum

A short overview:

Now, this Djembe is quite different from what we’ve seen so far. Namely, Remos’ MondoDjembe is the only Djembe drum in our review that doesn’t feature a traditional outlook.

Furthermore, it comes supplied with a different set of features, but it’s definitely worth considering. Let’s see why in the section below.

 

Details, manufacturer specs, and features:

Remos’ Mondo Djembe is a synthetic Djembe drum, which means that it wasn’t built from traditional materials. Namely, this Djembe drum features Synthetic head and the Acousticon™ shell, along with heavy-duty rubber bottom and Skyn Deep head.

Now, this information gives us enough room to label this Djembe drum as “synthetic” djembe. If you’re into African traditional instruments, this one resembles it, even though it won’t cut it by a long shot. Anyhow, this Djembe drum boasts superior durability, and it’s characterized with uniqueness all the way.

Wrapping it up, Remos’ Mondo Djembe is a durable, unique Djembe drum that comes supplied with a set of remarkable features. It’s neither expensive or cheap, and its overall value is decently high.

 

Price point category:

Simply put, Remos’ Mondo Djembe belongs to the “affordable” price range. It wouldn’t be right to label it as “cheap” or “expensive” due to the massive gap between the price point categories, but most people won’t have too much trouble putting the money needed aside.

Overall, Remos’ Mondo Djembe holds a massive value for the cash.

 

  • Durability 99% 99%
  • Performance 90% 90%
  • Sound 92% 92%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Decently affordable
  • Good performance
  • Unique features and outlook
  • Very durable

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Synthetic Djembe drum

Best Djembe Under $200:

best synthetic djembe

A short overview:

Toca might sound cool, but wait until you’ve seen what they have in stock for you. Now, the thing we’re talking about is Toca TF2DJ-14RB Freestyle II – one of the best Djembe drum in our review.

Namely, this remarkable percussion piece is beautiful, elegant, and decently affordable.

 

Details, manufacturer specs, and features:

Thi might be one of the most beautiful Djembe drum models in our review, as it features a remarkable Dark Red finish. Furthermore, this Djembe comes supplied with a synthetic, durable head which provides stretch-free and anti-dry pitch effects.

Furthermore, there’s a protective rubber at the very bottom of the construction, which makes playing it easier. Specifically, the rubber was used to prevent slipping. All in all, Toca TF2DJ-14RB Freestyle II features a well-balanced construction and a remarkable outward appearance.

 

Price point category:

As we’ve already mentioned, Toca TF2DJ-14RB Freestyle II is one of the most affordable Djembe drum models in our review, right after Meinl’s HDJ-3M Black river headliner. This means that it’s decently affordable, and well worth the cash.

 

  • Durability 98% 98%
  • Performance 88% 88%
  • Sound 92% 92%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Very affordable
  • Beautiful outward appearance
  • Highly durable
  • Non-slip rubber bottom
  • Lightweight design

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No major flaws apart from synthetic materials

Best Djembe Under $100:

 

djembe direct

A short overview:

Now, the last item in our review is Meinl Percussion HDJ3-M Black River Headliner. This is also the most affordable Djembe drum in this guide, but don’t let that dissuade you – it’s more than capable of satisfying the needs of both casual and serious djembe players.

 

Details, manufacturer specs, and features:

The first most notable feature of Meinl Percussion HDJ3-M Black River Headliner is the design. Particulary, this djembe features a number of interwoven nylon tuning ropes and mahogany wood.

You might remember the part when we discussed the first Djembe drum from Meinl – PROADJ3-XXL Artisan Edition. These two Djembe drums have a lot of things in common, including the materials used in the construction process.

Namely, both of these djembe drums were made of Meinl’s own mahogany wood.

This is the main reason why Meinl’s HDJ3-M Black river headliner is often characterized as beautiful and durable.

 

Price point category:

Now, this is the sweetest part – Meinl’s HDJ3-M Black river headliner is the most affordable djembe drum piece in our review. In fact, it might even be the best Djembe drum for the money ever made.

It’s durable, it boasts a high level of performance, and it’s very affordable. Overall, Meinl’s HDJ3-M Black river headliner holds a massive value for the price.

  • Durability 92% 92%
  • Performance 88% 88%
  • Sound 90% 90%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Very affordable
  • Unique design
  • Very good perfomance for the money
  • Can be used as a décor piece

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No major flaws

Djembe Drums in short – Sound, Design, Uses:

Even though the word “Djembe” might not ring a bell, most people are well acquainted with the sound they make. In short, Africans invented Djembe drums, and a lot of African street performers play on these drums. Since the list of African native instruments is quite long, this may not be enough to clarify the issue.

Let’s put it this way – if you’ve watched any African-themed movie (Indiana Jones might be a good example), you’ve definitely heard what Djembe Drums sound like. The sound of these drums can be described as exquisite, and somewhat sharp.

As for the Djembe drum playing techniques, we could talk about them for hours, literally. Plainly speaking, the most basic technique involves simple strikes on the surface while intermediate techniques range from sliding across the surface with fingers and hitting the sides.

BRIEF HISTORY:

Now, Djembe drums were invented a long time ago. Some sources indicate that these percussive instruments were first used somewhere around 1300 AD in Africa.

Namely, a certain African tribe called Mandinka (or Maninke) is “responsible” for the invention of this beautiful instrument. Specifically speaking, it was the group of blacksmiths called “Numu” who played Djembe during ore smelting.

Throughout the ages, it was the “Numu” caste who introduced this percussion piece throughout the Western Africa.

Best Djembe Drums

BUYING GUIDE: THINGS TO CONSIDER:

How to clean Djembe drum?

Now, cleaning Djembe drums isn’t rocket science. Namely, all you have to do is simply a soft cloth. In some cases (if your Djembe drum features a complex design, for example), you should use linseed oil, teak, or similar materials.

Furthermore, there are some cases when the head of your Djembe drum is seriously neglected, so you should expect cuts and bumps in the surface. If this is the case, you should use grit sandpaper to sand the surface until it’s smooth.

 

Things you should and shouldn’t do with your Djembe

As with all instruments, there are things you should do as much as possible, and there are things from which you should refrain from whenever possible. We’ve composed a short list of what you should and shouldn’t do based on the tips and tricks of various Djembe veterans:

 

What you should do:

Consider drum bags

Now, drum bags should be used with virtually all kinds of percussion instruments, including Djembe drums. Namely, drum bags protect your Djembe drums from dust particles, impact, heat, cold, moisture, and various other elements.

Needless to say, you should at least consider a drum bag if you want to prevent any and all damage to your Djembe drum.

Play your instrument often

Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory. Namely, playing your instruments “keeps them in shape”. We often use the term “neglect” when the player simply leaves his/her instrument(s) to gather dust in the studio, so it’s highly advised that you play your Djembe drums often.

Clean your Djembe drums whenever you have the time

We’ve already mentioned the cleaning part, so, without further ado, just consult the section mentioned above.

Tune and detune regularly/weekly (depending on the frequency of usage)

Now, it’s only normal that instruments “detune” on their own after a while. Tuning and detuning them manually is healthier, in a way.

 

What you shouldn’t do:

Never use sticks, or any other items to play your Djembe drums
Never overtune your Djembe drums
Refrain from playing with jewelry on your hands/fingers
Never moisturize the goat skin (on your Djembe drum) directly

CONCLUSION

Well, now you know the basics of Djembe drums, the do’s and don’ts, and a bit of African cultural treasure. If you happened to like what you’ve seen so far, be sure to check our buying guides for drum sets and different percussion instruments.

Feel free to browse our list of the top 5 best djembe drum reviews and be sure to leave a comment below with any doubts you may have.

Good luck with your search!

OUR PICK: Meinl Percussion PROADJ3-XXL
  • Durability
  • Performance
  • Sound
4.7

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