How small of a djembe?

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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby rachelnguyen » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:52 pm

Hey Tokapelli,

I didn't think my Toca sounded bad either... until I played an actual djembe, LOL. Then, once you play the real deal, the pseudo djembes just won't do anymore.

Marc, if you do want to get a small drum, you might at least get a good quality African one. I have seen some really nice ones from Mali that are small. Since they have nice shells and African goatskins, they sound much better than the mini Tocas or Remos. I have also seen a djembe that was normal height, but had a narrow 11 inch head. It was headed in cowskin and the thing SCREAMED. Super loud and high pitched. It was a great drum, but on the smaller side. I wish I had taken a picture of it.
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby Michel » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:35 pm

Here is a picture of Wassoulou-drummers. You get a good idea of the size of djembe's over there. In our language we have a saying that says translated: it's better to have a small one that rocks than a big one that refuses. But that's what I wanted to say about the drums. I don't seem to be able to upload the pictures in normal size. Anyone has an idea???
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby rachelnguyen » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:04 pm

Michel,

I think you have to reduce the size of the image before you upload it.

Rachel
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby the kid » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:11 am

Thats a nice photo there Michel.

It goes to show us that djembefolas in africa play smaller drums than we expect
In the past everybody probably played a small djembe for solo as with the old techniques for skinning up a small head will give higher pitch. Interesting photo duga posted over in the ksingksing tread showed soloist playing smallish djembe and bass djembe was huge

Now a days we all expect 'performance' instruments which probably didn't exist in the past.

What i've noticed about small djembes that i encounter is that there are usually not carved with the same effort as larger drums so the inner bowl is poor which leads to ok to poor sound. I reckon if they were carved better they'd be alright.
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby Michel » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:00 pm

Thanks Kid,
The picture was taken in Sanankoroba, the village of birth of Sidiki Camara, who is originally from the Wassoulou region in Mali. We were there with some other toubabou's during a workshop.The funny thing was that we took our drums from Bamako because over there were too few drums for us to play. The drums we took everybody would describe as typical Malian drums. But when the village drummers came they brought these small djembe's they were used to play on, they heated them by fire to tune them. But when you visit other areas in Mali, like the region around Kayes, you can find huge djembe's, tuned low. And ofcourse, the djembe's we play on didn't exist untill the 1960's because there were no good ropes and iron rings.... So every djembe must have been much lower in pitch. Here a picture of an ancient Wassoulou djembe ( a small one like the former picture)(and because I am a digibete still in huge size, almost realtime):
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby e2c » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:21 pm

michel - try Googling the phrase "resize photos." There are lots of free sites where you can resize pictures online - you upload them to the site, it resizes them for you, and then you can dl them to your computer.

I think that would work better - give it a try! :)

cheers,
e.
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby bubudi » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:36 am

i have added a bbcode so you can resize the pic. you need to right click on the oversized image, copy location, then paste it into a message (either same or a new one will do), between the 'thumb' bbcode tags.

here's what it should look like:

Code: Select all
[thumb]http://djembefola.com/board/download/file.php?id=1189[/thumb]


which will do this:

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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby rachelnguyen » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:38 pm

Michel,

Now that we can see it, (Thanks Bubudi!) it is a fascinating drum. It looks like it is a ring system (rather than stitched) but with ropes instead of metal rings. How tall was it?
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby Michel » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:13 pm

It was a ring system, only the rings weren't welded as we know it, it was, as you can see when you have a good look, two hooks to give the rings the right round. And the size was the Wassoulou size as you can see in the first picture. A small djembe.
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby e2c » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:38 pm

Michel - thanks so much for the photos and info.! It's really helpful.

I think it's very interesting to see how djembes in certain areas have changed form, while others seem not to have changed. (Which makes me think that Western influence is one of the main reasons that form has changed... but that's another topic entirely. Congas went through similar developments once they'd been brought to the mainland US.)
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby michi » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:35 am

bubudi wrote:i have added a bbcode so you can resize the pic. you need to right click on the oversized image, copy location, then paste it into a message (either same or a new one will do), between the 'thumb' bbcode tags.

here's what it should look like:

Code: Select all
[thumb]http://djembefola.com/board/download/file.php?id=1189[/thumb]

This sort of works, but not too well. The thumb isn't really a thumbnail, but a scaled-down version of the real image. This means that the photo appears smaller, but the page load takes a long time because the full-size image is downloaded and then scaled down for display. It would be more effective to either have a real thumbnail that points at the full-resolution image, or to down-size the image before uploading it.

Cheers,

Michi.
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby Tanuki93 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:21 pm

There are many shops for example with various things and between those, there are musical instruments, like shakers and Djembe. But, I've bought new Djembe from one Music shop and for this purpose, like go to travel and bring something another to people in my country. But, I've found Djembe, which is little and have very similar sound, like darbuka. For this, I love It, because this is alternative Djembe. I know very well, what Djembe must sound, like. But, I would like to create something, like drumming for therapeutic things. Maybe You'll say, this is stupid thing, but there are of those things in the world.
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby boromir76 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:36 am

Speaking of small Wassoulou Sogonikun djembe, take a look at this precious field recording. Small djembe in master's hands. Beautiful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TRIjy75F0o
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Re: How small of a djembe?

Postby drtom » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:58 am

I've skinned many 10 - 11 inch djembes, a lot of them made by Kangaba. I have to say that these djembes absolutely rock and are in no way inferior to their larger counterparts.

OK, larger djembes will tend to outdo smaller djembes in terms of volume. I do not agree that the bass is necessarily diminished, except possibly in volume. I've skinned even smaller djembes with incredible bass.

It's also true that a 10" djembe might require some adjustment in the players posture, but I can't imagine this would be a deal breaker.

I do believe that someone with particularly large hands might be better off with a larger drum.

The secret to getting the most out of smaller djembes is an accurate strike. The technique must be precise. There is less room for error, and this might be the reason why some people just don't like them.

Size discrimination just ain't right.
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