Published on 15/10/2012
One of the most common questions we hear from customers is ‘What size Djembe is right for me?’ Getting the right size is important. While an adult could play a small Djembe, there will be some discomfort in limitations in sound; what you are after is a drum head size that the hands fit on comfortably.
The smallest size is the 7 inch Djembe. When people talk about sizes they are referring to the drum head diameter, so this has a 7 inch diameter drum head. This is suitable for small kids up to first grade.
Moving up to the 8 inch Djembe, this is suitable for kids in first through to fourth grade. When testing this drum size, remember you are looking for a drum that fits the hand and ergonomics of your body so this will be a little small for adults. However this size is often used as a travelling or ‘backpackers’ drum for adults.
With the next size up, the 10 inch Djembe you are approaching the size that would be appropriate or a smaller adult. What you need is for the base of the drum to rest on the ground when you are in a seated position. If you can sit on a chair, have the base of the drum on the floor and have the head
of the drum just above your thighs, then this is this ideal position.
The 12 inch drum is the most common size for adults. When you have the right size drum, you will see that you can sit in a relaxed position; your arm comes to a perfect angle when you put your hand in playing position on the drum head and the drum head is large enough for you to play full notes using both hands.
For those that are over 6 foot tall or those who are after a bigger sounder and deeper bass, you will want to step up to the 13-14 inch Djembe.