African Drums Nobody Knows Of

Get Ready For Something New

Bored by the djembe-hype? Get ready for something different: There are many African drums that hardly anyone knows of outside Africa!

I wonder why we've ignored these traditional tribal drums for so long. They are just as wicked and as African as the djembe drum.

Will you be the one to start a new trend? Here's all the info you need to find your new favorite African percussion instrument!

Let me begin with my personal new fave:

African Drums Kpanlogo
Ghanaian Kpanlogo Drum

The Kpanlogo Drum

In my opinion the most beautiful of all African drums! Its gorgeous design and mystic, mellow sound are just captivating.

When hearing kpanlogo drumming in the distance you think you're in the jungle.

Want to play yourself? It's doable - and challenging enough to keep you working for quite some time!

Hand And Stick Drums

We often make the mistake to assume that African drums are pure hand drums. In fact, most of them are also played with sticks. The result is a powerful sound!

A great example is the:

African Drums of the Ewe

Ewe Drum Set

The long master drum called atsimevu is the father of the Ewe drum family. Together, they send a thunder through the forests that you can hear even miles away.

Ewe drumming is definitely one of the coolest drumming styles I've heard so far! Just take a look at Agbadza, probably the most famous of all Ewe rhythms and dances.

The Fontomfrom

is impressive in size and sound. As a court drum, it is only to be played for kings and chiefs. The majestic drum serves that royal purpose very well!

A bit smaller, but just as interesting are the bougarabou, ashiko, ngoma, sabar, tabla, kutiro, atumpan and the brekete.

The doundounba, sangban and kenkeni form the set of bass drums that often accompanies the djembe (also called djun djun, duns, doum doum etc.)

Another type of stick drums are the:

Talking Drums

In fact, many African drums are "talking" drums. But when a Westerner uses the term he usually refers to the hourglass-shaped instruments. They are spread all over West Africa, with different features, playing styles and names:

Dundun, lunna, donno, dondo, tama, gangan etc.

I can't wait to find out what they are talking about!

African Drums Gome
Gome Foot Drum

Frame Drums

Frame drums like the tamalin from Ghana or the sikko from Guinea are pretty common.

But the gome box drum of the Ga tribe is certainly the coolest of all:

It is played with hands and feet! That makes it quite a show to watch and quite a physical effort to perform...


All above drums belong to the membranophone family. That means a stretched skin is responsible for their sound. But idiophones can do without:

African Drums Udu

Pot Drums

The sound of these clay pots are just as mystical as their traditions. The Igbo women in Nigeria are the inventors of the udu drums.
Men are strongly advised to stay away!...

Water Drums

The Malinke and Sosso people got creative with calabashes: They filled the yedoundoun and fedoundoun with water. Refreshingly different!

Slit Drums

Slit drums might be the first drums that human beings ever produced. They can be found all over the world. Guineans call them krin or kolokolos, while the Congolese know them as mukoku.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Copyright © 2009 - 2011

Download African Music

MP3 Downloads

Browse and enjoy
this vast collection
of the most popular
African MP3 Albums

African Music Safari

learn to play djembe

Play the Djembe
Learn the basics with a djembe instructional DVD for beginners

djembe case

African Drum Bags
Handmade djembe case from West Africa