COVID-19 POLICY
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Enduro Djembe

Enduro Djembe is back on September 26!

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After another successful online 𝗘𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗿𝗼 𝗗𝗷𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲 last weekend, we’re doing it all again!!
 
🎵 Sunday September 26th @ 11am AEST 🎵
 
This 60 minute intensive musical workout is catered for intermediate and advanced level djembe players, who are looking to strengthen their listening skills, dexterity, stamina and solo repertoire! All you need is a djembe and a WIFI connection 😀
 
Led by Magic Mike, with Alastair Rae on duns, grab your ticket here
 
PS. You can practice with past recordings of Enduro Djembe here
West African djembes

✨ 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT THE DJEMBE ✨

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Here are some of our favourite facts about the West African djembe…

 

1. The most prized djembe wood is lenke, known for its superior spiritual properties.
 
2. A master djembe player is called a djembefola. Notable djembefolas include Mamady Keïta from Guinea, Abdoulaye Diakité from Senegal and Yamadu Bani Dunbia from Mali.
 
3. The Bambara word “djembe” translates to “everyone gather together in peace.”
 
4. Traditionally, the djembe was used as a form of communication between tribes as its resonance could reach long distances.
 
5. The djembe is said to consist of three spirits: the spirit of the tree from which it was made, the spirit of the animal whose skin covers the head, and the spirit of the drum maker.
 
Browse our collection of African djembes here
African Drumming team building and drumming workshops

How to Foster Collective Efficacy during the Pandemic

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In the current state of the global pandemic and constantly changing environments, organisations are struggling to maintain a level of coherence amongst their teams. According to a study by Dr Eduardo Salas, Department of Psychology at Rice University, “Teams perform better when they possess ‘collective efficacy’, or a belief that their team can succeed”.

Our teams are experiencing a huge variety of unprecedented stressors in daily life, due to the pandemic, and this stress heavily contributes to an inability to maintain coordinated performance, which in turn creates negative outlooks and a disconnect from others.

So, if collective efficacy is a strong element of team success, how can we foster this attitude during these challenging times, where teams are becoming less connected and more isolated both on a physical and mental level?

Well, Dr Salas believes that teams need constant reminders about their wins and successes as well as a mutual monitoring amongst the cohort. What this means in simplified terms, is that our teams need to check in with one another, encourage each other and build each other up. The pandemic has seen a shift from a group mentality to an over focus on self, so organisations need to encourage individuals to come out of their shells and interact with each other again.

Collective efficacy is achieved when the group successfully comes together to achieve a goal or task, boosting the team’s belief in their ability to achieve. Giving your team an opportunity to perform a task together, where they each play their own part and work as a cohort through mutual monitoring, fosters group performance and in turn increases collective efficacy.

An African Drumming session allows teams to achieve a coordinated performance, where they must interact and closely monitor one another to achieve unison in rhythm. A beautiful metaphor which helps to build collective efficacy in a fun and stress-free environment. The session can help to re-develop friendships and a faith in their ability to adapt and learn new skills together.

The reason an African Drumming session is so good at developing collective efficacy is because these sessions nurture confidence gained by being a critical part of a team. Drumming is proven to improve team work and collaboration. The ensemble nature of the drumming, along with moving from structured rhythms to improvising, encourages new ideas within the context of a group.

This is just one example of a non-threatening way to reconnect your team during a time of shifting stressors and unparalleled disconnect. Something exciting and new can be the beginning of seeing a real positive transformation in your organisations as we move on from the chaos of COVID-19 towards greater collective efficacy 🥰

Ocean drums, available in small, medium and large.

Sounds of the ocean 🌊

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We’ve just received a batch of new ocean drum designs! Hand painted with stunning tribal and animal pictures, the ocean drum is a popular percussive accompaniment during meditation classes, sound baths and mindfulness retreats.

The ocean drum is held by the frame, with the head horizontal and played by rolling the wrists so the drum gently tilts in all directions.
The beads inside roll over the bottom head creating soulful wave-like sounds. Different speeds produce different sounds and stopping and starting creates crashing wave sounds.

Available in small, medium and large!

There’s an article written about us!!!

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Dr Dawn Joseph came across some fascinating findings when she visited our spring drum retreat in 2019, which launched a deeper investigation into the power of West African drumming.


Below are a few of our favourite points from the article:

  1. African Drumming builds bridges and begins dialogues, allowing for a better understanding of the people, customs and music in Africa.
  2. There is a deep sense of belonging in the drumming community, being part of something intangible and ancient.
  3. Drumming fosters a sense of connection and community with others and offers time away from normality and technology.

The article is a powerful summary of our goals and values here at African Drumming. We strongly believe in educating the community in an authentic and genuine way, and take pride in building a strong and supportive community.

Visit the link here to read the full article

The power of West African drumming.

Say hi to the talking drum!

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“If you say hi to one it may even talk right back!”

When you first hear the sound of a talking drum, it may catch you by surprise, and that is because the sounds of the drum can be manipulated to mimic the tone and prosody of human speech. They are so entertaining to listen to because they are unlike any other drum you might hear.

The talking drum is amongst the oldest instruments used by West African Griots, with their history tracing back to the Ghana Empire. There are many variants including size, origin and style. The ‘Tama’ Talking Drum of the Wolof people is handmade in Senegal and is recognisable by its smaller size and higher pitched tone. These smaller style drums are also played by the Malinke people. A larger style Talking Drum (shown in the video below) is commonly played by the Yoruba and Dagomba people, in their Lunna and Dùndún ensembles.

3 tips to protect your djembe

3 tips to protect your favourite drum!

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Protect your djembe for life with our following tips!

#1  The natural oils from your hands will condition the skin as you play. We don’t recommend the use of other conditioning agents as these can cause rot over time.

#2  A good bag will go a long way in protecting your djembe and preserving its skin, but be aware of the temperature conditions. If the bag is stored in a hot place it will act as a furnace.

#3  In Africa, drummers lean djembes on their side, so the wind and air can get into them and ventilate.

mamady keita

Rest in Peace Djembefola 👑

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We lost a pioneer last month. Mamady Keita was a warm and giving teacher who made everyone feel welcome. A true patriot of Guinea and traditional West African music, he opened the doors to a new world for us – the global djembe community – which will continue to grow in his honour for years to come.

– Simon Fraser, Director

Image via Pan African Music

The balafon’s beautiful sound is produced by striking the tuned keys with two padded sticks.

The beautiful balafon

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Photo of Bassidi Kone by Blacknote Photography

Did you know that the oral histories of the balafon date it back to at least the rise of the Mali Empire in the 12th century CE?

The balafon is a true work of art and an integral member of the idiophone family of tuned percussion instruments which includes the xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and vibraphone. The balafon’s beautiful sound is produced by striking the tuned keys with two padded sticks.

Check out our friends Burkina Azza (from Burkina Faso) below and shop our balafons here

 

Reconnect with the Djembe

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Feeling a little disconnected from both yourself and Mother Earth lately? Drumming has been proven to help people reconnect in very powerful ways. The beautiful Djembe dates back hundreds of years from West Africa, and the creation of these drums was a very spiritual process. It is said that the playing of these drums and creating a beat allows us to focus more internally. The beat helps our brains to slow down and reconnect with our own physical rhythm. It also helps us to tune into the rhythms of the earth and keeps us more grounded. Even playing the djembe with others can help us reconnect with our community and allow us to feel a stronger sense of belonging.

It is super easy for anyone to learn how to play the Djembe. Even a simple beat can have amazing effects on our health and wellbeing. Our drums are made with the utmost love and care, and the highest quality. They are all beautifully crafted, and when not being played make a great ornamental piece in your house.

Check out our range of Djembes now, and feel more connected to the rhythms of the universe!

Choosing the Right Djembe for You

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Buying a new Djembe can be a daunting task. It is a big investment, both financially and towards developing your drumming skills. When it comes time to buy a djembe, there are a number of things to consider before you commit to your purchase! 

A big part of what makes a good djembe simply depends on your style and preference. There are a lot of good djembes out there; it’s just a matter of finding one (or two, or three!) that suit you.

Here is a list of 5 things we recommend you consider when choosing your djembe: 

  1. The height and weight of the drum: Make sure you choose a drum size that compliments your body proportions. Too big/small or too light/heavy will make your drum harder to play. 
  2. Thickness of the skin: This will depend on your level of playing. Beginners usually prefer a thinner skin, while the more advanced will go for a thicker skin. 
  3. Comfort of the bearing edge: A smooth playing surface is a must for your djembe. Look out for smoothness of the edge, and any divots, dips or cracks around the edges. 
  4. Aesthetic: Looks do matter! You need to like how your djembe is designed aesthetically, your going to be looking at it a lot. 
  5. Quality of the Timber and Carving: Pay attention to both the quality of the timber the djembe is made out of, and the carvings within the wood. This can give clues as to the quality of the product.

Not all djembes were created equal! There are a lot of low-quality drums out there, made quickly and carelessly for unsuspecting tourists. Playing one of these can be very discouraging, because they sound awful no matter how well you play.  It is always best to get some advice from your teacher or a professional who can guide you to the right drum.

Finally, its all about the sound of your Djembe and the feeling you get when you play it. Don’t be afraid to give the drum a good play and see if it resonates with you. Remember too: “the drum will choose you”!

Check out our range of Djembs available online. 

Shake it up with a ‘Woso Woso’ Cane Jingler

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These beautiful cane jinglers are also called ‘Woso Woso’! You wouldn’t know by looking at it, but these gorgeously handcrafted instruments make the most delightful percussive sound when you shake it. The woso woso is a type of caxixi, similar to the kiss kass, and acts as a great shaker to cut through any ensemble. These shakers are traditionally played to accompany drummers, and they are great as accent percussion. African Drumming’s cane jinglers are hand woven from elephant reed in the Bolgatanga region of Northern Ghana, and are filled with small bells which produce a bright, pleasant jingling sound. This simple yet beautiful instrument is just another example of how our talented West African artists use elepant grass to weave a variety of sustainable products. The woso woso is a great shaker to inspire rhythm in the young, and definitely durable enough for a young muso too!

Available now in the shop or online. Get yours here.

forest regeneration project in Ghana.

We’ve nurtured 5000 + saplings!

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We are dedicated to giving back to our planet and ensuring our ventures are eco-friendly and sustainable. 

Our joint venture with Ghanaian NGO Denyigba sees the reforestation of hardwood mahogany: every time we sell an African drum, we plant and nurture a new hardwood tree to replace the wood used to build our djembes.
The number of saplings nurtured has now reached over 5000, with a further 5000 seeds purchased 💚

Learn more about our sustainability initiatives here
And follow Denyigba on Facebook here

Our favourite West African handbook has received a little re-vamp, offering insights, resources, tips and tricks.

West African Music 101

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Our favourite handbook has received a little re-vamp, offering insights, resources, tips and tricks. This 101 guide is your introduction to the world of West African music. Learn about the history, the drums and the ensemble.
Get your copy here

Our sister company Bashiri African Imports specialises in bringing you beautiful handmade designs from Ghana, West Africa.

Have you checked out our sister company?

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Do you love West African bolga baskets as much as we do? Check out our sister company Bashiri African Imports: bringing you the most gorgeous handmade designs from Ghana. Each basket is unique, handwoven from sustainable elephant grass by our amazing artists.

Vegan options available!

We have a wide variety of beautiful baskets available including:
Round baskets
Pot baskets
Oval baskets
Bicycle baskets
Baby baskets
Laundry baskets

View the Bashiri online shop here

Ideal for musicians looking for traditional styling and professional-quality sound at an affordable price. These Wood Bongos feature Siam Oak shells, rawhide heads and traditional rims. Available in almond and gold.

Meet our products: #3 LP Matador Bongos

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Introducing our brand new LP Matador series bongos. Ideal for musicians looking for traditional styling and professional-quality sound at an affordable price. These Wood Bongos feature Siam Oak shells, rawhide heads and traditional rims. Available in almond and gold.

Includes:
Siam Oak shells
 7-1/4″ and 8-5/8″ natural rawhide heads
 Traditional rims
 Matching conga set available
 5/16″ diameter tuning lugs, steel backing plate and plated cast aluminum bottoms
 Matching congas available
 Tuning wrench included

Check them out here

Direct from Ghana and bursting with colour, these padded cloth bags are durable and unique. Features reinforced sewn straps, a padded lid and a draw-string closure. Available in a wide variety of colours.

A home for your djembe

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Spring is here and we’ve got a new collection of djembe cloth bags from Ghana to mark the season! Available in a wide variety of colours, these cloth bags are the perfect home for your djembe.

Featuring reinforced sewn straps, a padded lid and a draw-string closure.

Handmade in Ghana, West Africa.

Shop now

Our online Teacher Training courses will enable you with the tools, skills and resources to run your own African Drumming classes.

Become an African Drumming facilitator

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Our online Teacher Training courses will enable you with the tools, skills and resources to run your own African Drumming classes.

No prior musical experience necessary and courses are available via Zoom and are aligned with the Australian Government Schools Curriculum.

Level 1
Saturday 12th September 2020 9.30am – 3.30pm (AEST)
Level 2
Sunday 13th September 2020 9.30am – 3.30pm (AEST)
Level 3
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th November 2020 9.30am – 3.30pm (AEST)

Register today 😀

Originating from Ghana, the aslatua is played by holding and shaking one gourd in the palm while swinging the second gourd around.

Meet our products: #2 Aslatua

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Originating from Ghana and pronounced “us-la-twa,” the aslatua is played by holding and shaking one gourd in the palm while swinging the second gourd around. The simple and traditional percussive instruments are usually played in pairs (one in each hand) and are capable of producing complex polyrhythms.

We have two types of aslatua here at African Drumming
1. The master series, which is our premium aslatua. Filled with seeds and handmade with a thicker string for the traditional, rich and sandy sound.
2. The standard, which are filled with pebbles for a crisp, percussive sound.

View our aslatua range here