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Clay Drum Information
These clay drums are hand thrown and sculpted of high fire stoneware. The finest materials, hides, and techniques are used in their assembly. Pottery drums have the full range of sound: booming base, sharp slaps, and rich full tones. Percussionists find them exceptionally responsive with the lightest of touches. With the care provided any fine instrument, they offer years of the best percussion! All of these ceramic drums can be made custom with your preference for shape, size, hide type, and imagery. I have added looped .WAV files below. There are two separate tracks so you can shift your balance control to hear each part.
Ceramic Djembe (pron: "gem-bay")
Djembes are one of the instruments of West African music.
My non traditional djembes are made of stoneware. They range from 12-16"
in diameter and have the booming sound these drums are known for! Their
construction includes; wrapped steel rings, low stretch rope, and choice
of hide. Available is African goat hair on, hair off, and Pakistani tie
dyed. I often play, display, and sell these with an adjustable conga stand
from LP percussion. They can be worn and played standing in a traditional
manner. They are as light or lighter than comparable wooden drums! The sound
is comparable with a wooden drum but with the sounds exaggerated. The base
is more pronounced, the slaps are very sharp and the tones have a slight
ring to them.
Check out our new hardwood African Djembes from the Mali, West Africa.
Doumbeks (or Doumbec)
Doumbeks come in four main sizes from mini (5" head) to large (9"head). Heads are glued in a press with water resistant glue, trimmed and covered on the edge with a ribbon or cloth strip. Pictured is my 7" plain goat skin, ash glazed doumbek. It is the most popular drum I make and at $80 it is the perfect entry into the world of hand drumming! Available heads are goat, deer (plain or tie dyed), and fish (mainly stingray). These drums can be sculpted or decorated and have the classic compressed shape with flaring trumpet for the sharpest cracks and good base. All include a clay strap attachment at the balance point for adding a cloth strap.
Listen to a stoneware Doumbek....
Stoneware Hoop Drums
The hoop drums are laced on a stoneware ring shaped like a wheel rim. the shape increases its strength as well as providing a groove for adding an extra tightening lace at the circumference of the drum. They are laced similar to a native drum in ten, twelve, or sixteen hole patterns with polyester rope, and a unique lacing system! They sound more like a bodhran than a native drum. They can be played with hand, single, or double beater. The lacing technique used (tightening laced off center, pulling to a central circle, and then tightening at the perimeter) creates an exceptionally tight hoop drum that remains playable under most conditions and is tunable!!
Listen to a Stoneware Hoop Drum...
Percussion Bottles (also called Udu drums in Nigeria)
Percussion bottles are designed after classic African and South American ceramic shapes. They are played by slapping the holes with the palms and tapping fingers on the shell and hole edges. They are a subtle instrument , a 3/8 " microphone hole is provided for amplification. They are very decorative and provide a broad range of sounds. The classic bottle "doink" sound is heard often in contemporary percussion.
Listen to a Percussion Bottle....