juggernaut wrote:I'm new to this and see the elitist attitude and it is a definite turn off.
don't let your drum deter you from drumming! What matters is the drummer, not the drum!
Here is an image of the first djembe I ever owned. I still own it:
I laced it up and skinned it myself. (That is still the same skin on it, almost eight years later.) I was very proud of my work and my new drum then.
That drum has a diameter of 9.5 inches and is 19 inches tall. That's not really a djembe. At best, it would qualify as a child's drum. It doesn't sound very good (certainly nothing like a traditional genuine djembe), but that is the drum that got me started on my journey. Without it it, I may well have never found drumming at all. Now, almost eight years later, I own a hole bunch of top-class djembes, have been to Africa twice, have been teaching for nearly three years, have been performing, and have met a number of people who have become very close friends. It is fair to say that this first drum has changed my life more profoundly than I ever would have believed possible.
There are many ways to start this journey and, for most people, it does not start with a traditional djembe made in West Africa.
I bought mine for three reasons. One is I live in a very wet climate so I wanted a drum that was easy to maintain.Two, price my drum cost me 150 usd and I could barely afford that. Three I like the way it sounds I'll enjoy playing and learning on my drum.
You do not need an expensive drum to enjoy it. And a synthetic skin can make sense in wet climates, where goat skins don't fare at all well. My first drum cost about the same, and it was quite likely the best expenditure I've ever made in my entire life.
And I don't think I'll be on this site as much as I hoped to. This music came from humble beginnings and now look at the attitude that people have.
You have to accept that a Remo will not sound like a traditional djembe. That's just how it is. (It's not reasonable to expect a $150 drum to sound as good as a $700 one.)
What people here object to more than anything else (I believe) is that the Remo drums are sold as djembes even though they have only a passing resemblance to the traditional instrument. (It's a little like calling a 30cm long plastic guitar a "guitar". It's sort of a guitar, but not quite.)
But it does not matter. If the djembe decides to speak to you, it will speak to you no matter what drum you have.
My suggestion would be to hang around, read and learn, and contribute to the forum. There are many members here who are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Rather than closing your mind, keep it open, and enjoy your drum!
One of the most rewarding things you could do for yourself is to try and find a teacher in your area. Go to classes for a while, learn the traditional music, and see what it does to you. If the djembe grabs you and ignites your passion, you will eventually trade up to a better drum. (And you may well keep trading up for many more years to come. The second djembe isn't the final one for most people.)
If that is what happens, that first Remo of yours will always have a special place in your heart. And, ten years down the track, you may well thank the djembe gods for having sent that first Remo your way!