Here are some of the drums I have collected from around the world. They are mostly replicas of larger drums that are indigenous to that country but most of them make some kind of interesting noise.
These two drums come from the Chiapas region of Mexico. The first drum was made by the Lacandón Indians who are one of the Maya peoples that still live in the jungles near the southern border with Guatemala. I bought this in a small, insignificant shop in San Cristóbal de las Casas, up in the highlands of the Yucatan.
For more information please click this link.
This drum which
depicts a snake
on the side and a
head mask on the
front again originates
from the area of San
Cristóbal de las Casas
This is a great town
that had plenty of live
music and some amazing
bands and performers along with a good mix of Spanish influence and Mexican resistance and is in the homelands of the revolutionary group , The Zapatistas.
I bought this drum in a small bazaar in
Luxor. It is typical Egyptian Gawharet
El Fan Famous Mother of pearl drum.
The Dumbek/Tabla as an instrument is
the most popular for solo work. It was
originally introduced by the Arabs into
Spain and spread from there top the
rest of Europe .
This drum is made of cow skin and I
bought in a small back street shop
in Arusha, Tanzania.
I bought this drum in a large trading
post in Utah on the road to the
Grand Canyon after having seen the
great sights of Arches National Park,
Zion National Park and having spent the
night sleeping under the stars in
Monument Valley with the Native
Americans on their reserve.
Different Native American tribes have
different traditions about their drums and how to play them. For larger dance or powwow type drums, the basic construction is very similar in most tribes: a wooden frame or a carved and hollowed-out log, with rawhide buckskin or elk skin stretched out across the opening by sinew thongs. Traditionally American Indian drums are large, two to three feet in diameter, and they are played communally by groups of singers who sit around them in a circle. For smaller single-sided hand drums, a thinner frame or shell is used, and a rawhide surface is string onto only one side, with lacing across the other.
This really a champagne cooler but it came from
'The Roundhouse' in Bielefeld, Germany where I
was given it after gig I did in 1990. The Roundhouse
was a large hall where Hiter used to address his SS
officers during the Second World War but later
became part of a British Military base.You can still
see the balcony from where he made his speaches
but the huge swastika on the floor has since been
This drum is a Darabuka and I haggled for
it in Dalyan, a great small town on the
South-Western Mediterranean coast and
set in the centre of a broad delta whose
natural beauty is completely unspoilt.
A Darabuka is a goblet shaped hand drum
used in Arabic music, Persian music, Balkan
music, Armenian music, Azeri music and
Turkish music. Its thin, responsive
drumhead and resonance help it produce a
distinctively crisp sound. It is of ancient
origin, and is believed by some to have
been invented before the chair.
I haggled strongly for these drums in
Fes and Marrakech. The first on the
right is a Moroccan Doumbek
These wonderful ceramic hand drums
are hand made and the fish-skin
drumhead gives a deep, full resonant sound in
the middle (the 'Doum') and a higher, sharper
tone towards the edge (the 'bek' sound).
These drums are normally played by holding
under one arm while tapping the edge and
center with the fingers. This is the drum
that is used with belly dancing.
The square flat drum features the
hand of Fatima and the small drums
are bongos and are made of clay.