For chatting and discussions.
By strang
I have a traditional djembe that I love and have been playing for a while now.
However I have a gig where I travel at peak hour on public transport, a few days a week, and it is getting quite tiring carrying my trad djembe. It is also getting a few knocks.
I am interested to hear what other options people may suggest for a lightweight djembe?
The gig is not African music but is more a general percussion thing, so I don't need an instrument that is traditional sounding. Currently I keep the djembe tuned low and also use a darbuka for some high sounds.
Ideally I'm looking for a djembe with:
- a big bass
- lightweight
- pretty tough
- easy repair/workhorse

I have been looking at Remo djembes, played a couple and liked them, not traditional but still some good sounds. I don't think they had as much bass as my trad djembe but I haven't compared side by side yet.
I was also interested in hearing about Toca freestyle djembes if anyone has one? Good bass? Well made? the Remo ones are well made in my opinion - are the Toca freestyle the same standard?
I am also open to sticking with a trad djembe but getting one made from a lightweight wood - what wood would you suggest I look for?
Anyway open to other's knowledge and opions.
thanks in advance.
Wouldn't a roadie be nice? 8)
Hi Strang,

Michi is right, if it shall be a traditional light-weight.instrument, you´ll have to choose a soft kind of wood which isn´t that heavy as harder kinds of woods.

Apart from my traditional djembes my favorite light-weight-choice is a 12" Toca Freestyle rope tuned with an artifical skin. It is easy and rough and the base-tone is also there and it´s absolutely moisture-resistant.

If you take a look at that thread:


at the end of page 1, you´ll find a recording of a 12" Toca, mechanically tuned and with goat skin.

If you want, I may also take a recording of the above mentioned 12" Freestyle. Just let me know.

Thanks guys very helpful.
Erny those recordings are great. You say you like the Toca 12" the best - is it the loudeset? The dancers I'm doing this gig with are always wanting louder :roll:
I know it's dumb trying to work out which drum to buy from advice on the net but it's really hard to try out products in person these days - there's so few music stores left.
Hi Strang,
the 14" might be a little bit louder, but the 12" is, imho, the better drum. According to my experience the 14" tends to ring (a friend of mine plays one) and this is a very ugly noise which has to be abandoned by applying tape on the (artifical) skin.

Nevertheless you should try to play it before buying in order to prevent a wrong decision.