Need Help? We help each other here...
By ella0130
Hey , Guys , can you identify where this Djembe coming from ? The dealer told me it is come from Africa .But i want to be sure about that
20100803_ed797f13d9db30989fb741zOIeHHYIoG.jpg (210.09 KiB) Viewed 959 times

Thanks in advance
20100803_93eefae1102c4667b28almkzmbxbIYKq.jpg (204.3 KiB) Viewed 959 times
20100803_4a18c23c1cd6827d469d8WoZ1yq2FIyy.jpg (33.68 KiB) Viewed 959 times
By the kid
That is probably from Ghana. It doesn't look any good to me. Rings are huge and the rope looks very weak. Badly put on skin. Then there is the black paint on the wood which i don't like either.The second photo tells me that it is soft wood too. Check the big chisel marks. Usually a sign of a Ghanian djembe.
yeah, I'm guessing Ghana also.. . Just cause a drum is from Africa doesn't mean it's good. :) Final decision is that if you like the sound, and the price is right.. buy it. I've seen those Ghana drums go for under 80USD in "world market" type stores, or African Clothing stores... That soft wood will split easy and wont last very long, but for 80 bucks.... I've reheaded a few of those Ghana shells, with a skin put on proper, they dont sound too bad. I wouldn't own/sell one, but if you can pick it up for 80, have it reheaded right for about 150 (rings, rope, bearing edge) ... hmm.. maybe not.. I'd still hold out for something that is going to inspire me to keep playing... :) If you are looking for a good traditional djembe without breaking the bank, I've got in an Ivory Coast djembe with a carved up base, there was a crack on the bottom that went up about 4-5" but I've stopped the crack and filled it. Should be as good as new but I'm selling the completed drum for 295 with your choice of rope color... Let me know.. I've got it here, ... -c-29.html
By aiduenu
what do you guys mean this djembe come's from Ghana this is the reason why i have problem with you guys if you want to sell your djembe sell it do not discredit Ghana djembe and I always say this there are very good djembe producers in Ghana and they are product are equally good to djembe you can find in other west african countries.

What shows that this djembe was made from Ghana? Ghana do not make this kind of djembe shell with this funny carving I have seen different kind of djembe made in Ghana and they do not look any like this shape of a shell. sell your so called supper djembe at the high prices.

This djembe do not come from Ghana
Every djembe I've come across with this shape and style of roping has been from Ghana. My problem isn't with the Ghana djembes... it's with 99.9% of the Ghana djembes that are being sold in the US. I agree that country has nothing to do with the quality of a drum... however, this drum is obviously poor quality... and is probably from Ghana, and probably carved out of that soft tweneboa wood, which will never have the projection and sound that a Lenke or Khadi, or Djalla or even Iroko wood have... You even mentioned yourself in a previous post that you agree tweneboa doesn't last as long and is prone to splitting... yet you sell them??

You sure this djembe is not from Ghana?? I've reheaded 2 this exact shape, with the little carving around the bowl, one was painted the other not, both out of tweneboa wood.. both from Ghana, both having super small inner sound hole (too small to fit my fist through) and both with large cracks.

I'm not dissing Ghana djembes. I'm dissing the use of tweneboa wood to make a djembe, I'm dissing the 99.9% of Ghana made djembes in the US that have been carved out of the tweneboa wood... They're just not good drums...

This could very well be an Indonesian djembe carved to look like a Ghana djembe, not for the purpose of making music, but for making money... Either way... I'd stay away from this drum.
By aiduenu
Well Rhythm House Drums i can see you sell djembe but you do not know more about djembe. and moreover let me correct you from saying i said tweniboa is soft wood and am still using it, well i did said that we have 3 kind of tweniboa we have soft tweniboa which is white wood and we have red tweniboa which very hard red wood and yellow which is also very hard wood and i did said we use the red and yellow hard wood.

As i have said before i can see you know nothing about djembe production, you read what people write and you base your argument, you have to learn more about Ghana djembe.

About the djembe we are talking about my brother i can really know that you do not know Ghana djembe visit this site and tell me whether this djembe at the site is Ghana djembe oor Ivory coast djembe ... t-13-.html tell the world is this djembe looks the same as the djembe posted?
Why do you disrespect me like that? You jumped all over me in the past about this same topic... The idea here is that this fella wanted to know about this drum, I gave my opinion and experience, and I stand by it... it looks like a cheap djembe carved in Ghana for one purpose.. to sell for money to someone who doesn't know what to look for in good djembe.

Out of my personal experience, I have never seen or played a Ghana djembe that sounded good. I have never heard a tweneboa wood drum that sounded good. Most my experience is with the white wood tweneboa, as that is what is here in the states, and what I see and have heard. That djembe pictured looks just like the cheap Ghana "tourist" drums that are polluting the US. I have no problem with a good quality Ghana drum... but I've never seen/heard one...

I dont just sell drums, I build them, I play them, I love what they do for my spirit. I'm happy when I drum and when I'm around drumming. I'm not on this site primarily to sell drums, I'm here to learn more and to contribute and learn from a community that I am a part of, maybe your goals should be the same. I'm sorry that you have an issue with me and my "lack of knowledge on djembe production", but are you really qualified to make that assumption?
User avatar
By Dugafola
culture: acculturation. that's one definition for you.

as far as I know, jembe started in the Mande countries of West Africa including: mali, upper volta, ivory coast, guinea and the southern part of senegal.

where does it end? it doesn't end. jembe is more popular now than ever. you can find it anywhere and everywhere with all sorts of people playing it.

if you read more in this forum, you'll come to realize that most people who frequent and post prefer "traditional hardwoods" from "traditional countries" of the jembe. a lot of the distaste for cheaper, tourist quality drums from all places is because it makes it harder to buy and import these "traditional hardwoods" from "traditional countries."

honestly, i've never heard one ghana/tweneboa drum that I liked. the ghanian drummers i know all play Malian or Guinea djembes.
By aiduenu
well am sorry for you to feel that am attacking you but because when some people produce and sell a rubbish djembe and people tight it to Ghana djembe really piss me off.

Moreover you said 99.9% of Ghana Djembe are badly produced which tells me that you are wrong and you should not jump to a conclusion like that.
I admit there are irresponsible producers selling tourist djembe in Art center and some importer import directly from there ,But That doesn't mean all Ghanaian Djembe are rubbish.

And As a producer, i know what come to play in making a good quality djembe .All you need is time and devotion.

I have some visitors from usa to my workshop and they contact me because of the heated debate in djembefola , and after seeing the difference between red, yellow and white twenboah , they are amazed . They never knew twenboah has three different kind

i am also using other wood to produce my Djembe , like lenke ,iroko and Gone, But let us be honest , it is just impossible to produce only with this kind of hard wood

You said you have never seen a good Ghana djembe before then attached are Ghana produced djembe for your reference. This are the djembe we produce

By ella0130
hey, guys , I just wake up and i saw a lot of posting on my post .

Well, the reason I posted these pictures is that I want to find out the origin of this drum , because of the mark on the internal shell(it seems to make by chisel , but to my knowledge , African drums adopt a different technique , and it would have a spiral pattern inner ), so I am quite suspicious too , As rhythem house said this might actually be a Indonesia or Thailand copy, and made like an old antique

can you guys direct your topic to my question ? i hope to see more contribution ,Thanks
User avatar
By michi
aiduenu wrote:Moreover you said 99.9% of Ghana Djembe are badly produced which tells me that you are wrong and you should not jump to a conclusion like that.
I admit there are irresponsible producers selling tourist djembe in Art center and some importer import directly from there ,But That doesn't mean all Ghanaian Djembe are rubbish.
I agree, it does not mean that all Ghanaian djembes are rubbish. Indeed, the two drums you show truly look nice, with good proportions. Obviously, I can't tell from a picture what they sound like but, from what is visible, that is good craftsmanship.

But, having been to Ghana twice, I can attest to the fact that I could not find any Ghanaian djembes that were on par with the ones from Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, or Ivory Coast. (And yes, I looked in a lot more places than just the Art Center.) For the majority of drums I saw, not only was the wood unsuitable (white Tweneboa), but the craftsmanship was poor as well (clumsy carving, badly matched rings, poor-quality rope).

Again, none of this means that all Ghanaian djembes are bad. But it does mean that my experience (and that of many other people) indicates that the vast majority of Ghanaian djembes are of poor or, at best, average quality, not comparable to the ones from the traditional countries.

Does this mean that Ghanaians can't make good djembes? No, it sure doesn't. A Ghanaian craftsman can be just as good as one from Burkina Faso or Mali. But there don't seem to be many of them around at the moment.

As to the wood, the only first-hand experience I have for Ghanaian djembes is white Tweneboa and that doesn't sound good at all, even with a well-carved and well-headed drum. As for Ghanaian djembes made of other types of wood, I can't relate first-hand experience. But, please recognize that, as long as something like 99% of all Ghanaian djembes are made from white Tweneboa, their bad reputation will endure, even if you happen to make djembes that are carved well and sound great.

It's similar with many of the Indonesian copies. Most are of poor craftsmanship, and all that I've seen are made out of unsuitable wood (medium-density Teak). Again, that doesn't mean that all Indonesian djembes are of poor quality. I just spent two weeks in Bali, and I saw quite a few locally-made djembes there with first-rate carving and rope and heading work. Truly nice drums, looking authentic in every detail, down to the spiral pattern for the carving. Very clean work indeed.

As to the sound, the only thing that is holding those Indonesian djembes back right now is the wood. As soon as someone opens up a source of suitable tropical hardwood in Indonesia (and I'm told that there are quite a few suitable species), watch out: Indonesian djembes could well be the next thing in getting killer sound from a djembe made outside of West Africa, and every bit as good as the real thing.

Finally, just because a djembe comes from Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, or Mali doesn't mean that it's a good djembe either. I've seen examples of poor carving and craftsmanship, and use of unsuitable woods from all of these countries. But, on the whole, if I buy a djembe from one of these countries today, I have probably an 80% or better chance of getting something that is decent. If I buy a djembe from Ghana today, I have probably less than a 3% percent chance of getting something that is decent.

Remember, it is the quality of all the craftsmen of a country put together that determines the overall impression, not the quality of an individual maker. It's much like with cars: overall, German cars enjoy a good reputation for quality, even though there may be a few bad apples, and Italian cars have a poor reputation for quality, even though there are some truly outstanding ones.