​Congrat​s, you’ve made a decision to buy a ​d​rum. ​Double congrat​s, you’ve found ​a ​crash course ​on ​how to get the very best djembe, updated for 2020. ​ ​​

T​he Reviews
Listed below are our top picks – well known wood and fiberglass models for each and every type of player, accompanied by the very best djembe under $50, $100 and $250.

  1. Remo Mondo Earth Series
    Winner – Overall Best Djembe!

​Make sure you opt for the right ​size and style options on the merchandise page.

​Avail sizes

​10″ – women

12″ – men

14″ – XL men

​​Modern

​​​​Key Tuned,

Synthetic Skin

​This ​is a ​stunning modern drum. It’s the only d​jembe ​that gets 5 stars from us. It has ​great sound, an elegant, understated look ​and is incredibly ​​versatile.

It is obtainable in sizes 10″, 12″ and 14″.

​Here’s a demo of different sizes:

Remo have a ​long history of making professional drums and drum skins.

​This drum will be a good choice for ​intermediate ​players or more – although beginners who are able it ​w​ill think it’s great too!

It’s simple and comes tuned out of your box. ​

​The drum head is Remo’s signature Skyndeep Fiberskyn ​and the shell is constructed of their Acousticon composite material. All you have to to learn is that the basses are deep and the highs are crisp and clear. ​It could possibly be used as a soloist drum.

It includes a protective rubber foot and is completed in an all natural brown. ​It has 8 tuning lugs. Tuning this drum is a lot easier when compared to a wood drum.

​My only criticism will be that it generally does not have a strap. ​I guess that gives me an opportunity to discover a nice one.

  1. Meinl Nile Series Headliner 8″, 10″, 12″
    ​Best Wood Djembe​

​​​Click the hyperlink above ​to compare size​s and prices.

​Wood​

​​Rope Tuned​/ Goat Skin

$$
​This is an excellent ​work horse of a drum. ​It comes in sizes 8″, 10″ and 12″​.

It’s simple and comes tuned out of your box. It would most likely not suit a sophisticated or solo player.

The shell is a good little bit of mahogany and ​has a nice rich brown color and hand carved ​grooves.

This is a strong, solid drum and weighs about 16 lbs – not overweight for a complete sized drum. It includes ​a rope handle and instructions for tuning, if need​ed.

​Make sure you opt for the right ​size and style options on the merchandise page.

  1. Meinl Earth Rhythm Series 10″
    Best Djembe for Beginners

​Wood​

Beginners should look at obtaining a djembe in the mid-cheap cost range in your unique size. It will be of an acceptable quality and won’t break your budget as long as you’re still learning. ​That’s why we recommend th​e Meinl Earth Rhythm Series.

This is a lovely wood drum​. We like this it really is hand carved, has clean understated decorations and has a bag.

The shell is plantation grown Mahogany, hand carved, with decorations designed to represent ‘ploughed fields and stalks of grain’. ​This is where in fact the ‘Earth Rhythm’ name originates from. Ooh.

​It is topped with hand chosen goatskin and 4mm pre-stretched nylon.

​We like this it includes a​​ durable nylon djembe bag​ ​with a side pocket and super-sturdy zippers.

It really is ​slightly more expensive​, though it is a ​fantastic selection of drum. The bag will probably be worth ​$​60​ alone.

  1. Heartwood Project Series 10″, 11″, 13″
    ​Best ​African Djembe​

Avail​ sizes

​10″​, 11″, 13″

​Wood​

​This handcarved drum from Africa ​​would also make an excellent gift.

​​It comes in sizes 10″, 11″ and 13″.

The drum has been imported in to the US and is then inspected and fine-tuned​. ​This extra layer of quality control​ means you can make certain to getting a decent drum from Africa.

We also like this buying this drum supports the village artisans in Africa who make sure they are.

This is an excellent drum for beginners​ and intermediate players and comes tuned and all set from the box. The shell ​is solid hardwood​ and your skin is West African goat​. The sound is surprisingly good.

It would most likely not suit a sophisticated or solo player.

This is a ​light drum and weighs about ​under 10 lbs​.​

​Types of Djembe
​There are 2 main ​categories of djembe:

​WOOD

These are the most frequent – the classic djembe look.

As the name suggests, the shell is hand-made in one piece of wood. The drum skin is​ either synthetic or goat skin and the tuning is performed with rope.

They are often an all natural wood color and sometimes have carvings around the base of the shell.

​Quality wood provides good resonance (sound)
​Sturdy
​Heavy
​Tuning ​and changing skins is difficult
​Quality may differ widely​

​​MODERN

These ​are ​usually machine-made by brand drum companies such as for example Pearl or Remo.

The​ shell is manufactured using composite materials and ​is molded to particular shapes and sizes.

​The drum is tightened mechanically by using a key​ and your skin is generally synthetic.

​Quality is standardized across a variety of shells and skins
Light, durable
​Easier to play and tune
​Environmentally friendly

What Type MUST I Get?
​Consider what you​ want to utilize the drum for.

If you wish to play the drum in a normal African drum circle setting, you should get yourself a wood djembe. The look​, feel and sound of the drum would ​suit the setting.
​Or, ​for less traditional settings, such as for example playing in a band or informal drum circles, ​​get a fiberglass djembe. They’re ​contemporary, light and simple to tune.
Some drums could be a mixture of both. They could have fiberglass shells and rope tuning.

​Buying A Djembe Online
We recommend you buy​ your djembe online, and from an established dealer. ​Here’s why:

​​​Better choice and affordability ​than your neighborhood music store​
More reliable than Craiglist ​or EBay​.
​Several ​​trustworthy manufacturers and ​​brands online.
All of the sellers we recommend have good track records and ​quality products within their price range.

Make sure owner has good communication, good reviews and a returns policy. Be prepared to pay shipping for returns​.

You get everything you pay for.

​Double-check the drum’s specifications before you get.

W​hat NEVER TO ​Buy
Avoid curio shop djembes. They are the small djembes you could easily fit into a backpack. ​Anything under ​​​​7″ over the face​ is not actually an instrument​, it’s more of an ornament.

They are​ ​cute but ​are just too small to be realistically playable​​. They’ll finish up ​in the trunk of ​your cupboard.

When buying online, ​don’t mistake ​a curio drum for a ​full size drum. It could be difficult to guage the drums size from an image.

Sneaky Trick Alert
Some naughty sellers will advertise​ these curio drums as a 12″ djembe​ by quoting the height, not the width. The width w​ould be significantly less, ​around 6″.

​Don’t worry, ​none of the drums ​we review is a curio​ drum.

A Curio Shop Djembe

Which MAY BE THE Best ​Brand of Djembe?
Wood djembes

​African made djembes don’t will often have a brand.​ They have already been imported from Africa and result from many small manufacturers.

The key to locating an excellent one is a trusted supplier who has vetted and priced the drums accordingly. A few ​well known sellers ​​are Drumskull and Djembe Direct.

Several brand manufacturers also make wood djembes. These usually are ​machine carved with a lathe and hand-finished. Popular brands are Meinl and Toca.

Fiberglass djembes

There are various well-known producers of top quality fiberglass djembes.

Drum companies such as​ Remo have already been generating them for many years. Additional ​good brands ​are LP, Meinl and X8.

Each brand has cool features, advantages and disadvantages and prices. Locating the best djembe brand is therefore a matter of preference.

​In Conclusion
Choosing the best instrument is approximately knowing the ​features and possibilities and matching them to your requirements. ​Buy from the proper shop and check the merchandise description carefully.