Meeting place for buying and selling instruments
By mikehboi
#35518
Hello,

I've recently just got into djembe drumming through a small class that was aimed at beginners. We practiced through university for a presentation which took a couple of months, the song I think was called aboroma, about a girls from guinea. It was awesome! The presentation went down a hit and it was such amazing fun. So we are now taking further classes :D

So for christmas I'm looking to buy a couple of drums. My teacher has recommended a couple that are on ebay and I'm looking to get someone on here's opinion on what he has chosen. Mainly because he cannot or will not tell me what makes the drums he has chosen awesome. One of the links doesn't describe the wood or anything. Now before spending the money I don't want to do so if the drums are no good.

I've done a bit of research and every post or link I find tend to say drums from ghana are not as good as those from say guinea, mali or ivory coast. Could someone give me their opinions on the following link

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/african-djemb ... 3cdf752ca7

Any advice would be most welcomed.

Many thanks,
Mike
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#35519
Hi mike

Your hesitation was right. That djembe doesn't look like a quality drum. don't buy crap, it takes away all the fun. Buy only drums that you personally try. Or buy from trustworthy dealers like wula drums. Costs much more, but pays of in the long run!

Best, jürgen
By mikehboi
#35520
Thanks for the prompt reply Jurgen :) could I ask what you can see in this drum that doesn't make it look quality? Or what I could look for visually? I'm in the UK and in a place where the djembe drumming is more like a select few people play it and there aren't many reputable sellers that I could walk up to and try their drums. So I'm stuck looking online. What should I be looking for visually?

The thing that worried me about this link was I cannot return the drums. Another link he suggested washttp://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/400814960217?nav=SEARCH and I think he's looking for drums specifically in the it's worth £250 mark
User avatar
By michi
#35521
For starters, that drum is laced up incorrectly. Whoever put this together is completely clueless.

I don't know where you can buy quality djembes in the UK. Some other board members might be able to help. But I agree with Jürgen. Spend he dollars and get one from Wula or Drumskull. It'll cost more because of the shipping, but you will get something that is put together well and will likely last you for the rest of your life.

Visually, it's difficult to tell what may or may not be wrong with a drum (other than blatant mistakes like the on the image you posted). That's why it's even more important to go with a reputable dealer if you can't play the drum before buying it.

Michi.
By mikehboi
#35523
Thank you very much for your comments. I am thinking of steering clear of there. After searching around these forums I have made a few enquiries to an Iya and Drumroots from some recommendations and am just waiting to hear back. Though it's a 4 hour drive to drum roots.

I have also found http://www.knockonwood.co.uk/Lenke-guin ... djembe.htm on another site. Can anyone comment on this? Reads as though it ticks the boxes, lenke wood from guinea/mali
By mikehboi
#35524
mgmcgahon wrote:http://africandrumservices.co.uk/ Based in Bath, I've got two top quality Lenke djembes from Richard, well worth spending the extra money. You should try out a drum before you buy one.
Thank you! It's a bit closer than Manchester, I think, and I've always wanted to visit bath ^ ^ I shall look into making a visit
User avatar
By gr3vans
#35525
michi wrote:For starters, that drum is laced up incorrectly. Whoever put this together is completely clueless.

Michi.
what are you talking about? it's strung up fine and looks tight. I'm not a fan of the paint, but fuck it. It's a good price. It's just a horrible photo.

if you're looking at the black rope as bearing tension, that is not correct. the verts are covered by the red.gold.green. then a small black rope was laced just below the crown ring to anchor a set of decorative verts. not something I've seen before, but certainly not stupid... kind of brilliant actually.

to the OP
the knock on wood drum looks cheap, as in not great quality. don't buy it. some people really like that shell style, but me... not so much

the first link is IMHO a pretty decent drum, built by someone who plays, this is gonna sound the best but might be to tight for a beginner.

the second ebay link for that guinee shell is a steal. good wood, good rope, ok skin and mounting work. if you're learning this might be the best for you as you learn technique.

with either of the ebay drums you're getting out for less than half what you'd pay from any of the 'big boys' in the industry and you get a good drum in your hands to play. develop your technique and trust your teachers. when you need to buy another drum you'll know more about what you're looking for.

cheers.

g
User avatar
By michi
#35526
gr3vans wrote:what are you talking about? it's strung up fine and looks tight. I'm not a fan of the paint, but fuck it. It's a good price. It's just a horrible photo.
Ah, OK, I take it back. Looking again, you are right. I mistook the decorative rope for the verticals. Me bad.

Michi.
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By djembefeeling
#35529
[/quote]
the first link is IMHO a pretty decent drum, built by someone who plays, this is gonna sound the best but might be to tight [/quote]
I still disagree. I would't buy a drum without seeing the wood. From my experience, djembes looking like that one don't sound good. And there are too many knots on the ring. Repairing that drum would be a nightmare and I would charge more for doing it. But, most important, buying a djembe without trying it out is nonsense. You only know what you like when you try it yourself. You never know by seeing a picture. I always have had little money, but I learned that it costs more in the end to spend to little in the beginning. I really hate people bringing cheap djembes for repair complaining about the price for the kind of work necessary. Please people,buy decent drums! You always have to have in mind that it needs a repair every couple of years!
User avatar
By michi
#35530
Yes, good point. I've had quite a few people come to me wanting to have their drum repaired, only to find out that the repair would cost more than the drum.

Unfortunately, there are many ways to cut corners on a djembe. If if the shell is OK, the bearing edge may be poor, or the rings too large, or the rope of sub-standard quality. Especially if the rings or the rope are the problem, the cost of re-skin essentially doubles. While the materials are fairly cheap, the time it takes to rebuild the drum isn't.

Michi.