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The power of West African drumming.

There’s an article written about us!!!

By | Blog

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. African Drumming brings psychological and physiological healing.

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 below to read the full article:

Say hi to the talking drum!

By | Blog

“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!

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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!

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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

Australia Post details about the best time to place your orders to guarantee a Christmas time delivery. Domestic and international details.

Santa’s Delivery Deadline

By | Blog

In the lead up to the busy period, Australia Post is recommending to place orders by the following dates for delivery by Christmas:

Australia wide:
Parcel Post: Order by December 12th 2020
Express Post: Order by December 19th 2020
For international orders, please visit this link

Free kiss kass shaker with every online spend of $40 and over!

A free kiss kass from Santa!

By | Blog

To celebrate the nearing of Christmas we’re giving away a complimentary kiss kass shaker with every online purchase of $40 and over.
Just use the coupon code santa at checkout to claim your complimentary shaker.
Please note, this promotion is not applicable for wholesalers.
🎄🎄🎄

We’re open again!

By | Blog

Victoria – we did it! Our doors are open and we’re chockablock with djembes, new instruments and xmas specials!
Our St Kilda classes are also back from November 2nd. Our beginner cycle is sold out, but we’ve got spots left for our intermediate classes.
Max of 10 students per class. Learn more 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?

By | Blog

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