Drums Across the World

drums across the world

Every culture keeps its own beat, and there are as many types and styles of drums across the world as there are ways to make music. And the best thing about drums is that to pick them up is to play them. Just give them a whack and you’re a musician! Here are a few of the instruments you might encounter at a next drum circle.


drums across the world Congas

Also called tumbadoras, these single headed, hollowed drums provide the beat for Afro-Cuban music. Derived from the Congolese makuta drums, they were initially made from hollowed logs and cowhides.



drums across the world Talking Drum

In the hands of experts, this drum does actually “talk.” Typically two-headed and held under the arm, leather strings lacing the heads together are pressed to alter the drum’s pitch and provide a “vocabulary” of sounds.


drums across the world Timbales

Invented in Cuba, the timbales became a staple of the Afro-Cuban orchestra in the 1940s. The timbales are two drums: the larger hembra and the macho. Like a snare drum, they are tunable and played with sticks.




drums across the world Bodhran

The most well-known of the frame drum family, the Irish bodhran looks like a tambourine without the bells. It is played with a short two-headed stick that is often tapped against the wooden frame to create extra sounds.


drums across the world Djembe

This African drum, invented in Mali around the 12th century and introduced to the West in the 1950s, is fast becoming as popular as the congas. It has a wide sonic spectrum, which makes it an excellent solo as well as accompaniment drum.





drums across the world Tubano

A modern addition to the hand drum family, the tubano is a cousin of the conga drum and an excellent starter drum for kids and adults alike. Though a slender drum, the tubano has a large tonal range.





drums across the world Djun Djun

Also called dununs or dunduns, these are actually a group of three tunable, double-headed drums which were invented in West Africa about the same time as djembes. Sometimes played with sticks, they provide the melody in a drum orchestra.



Instead of being dedicated to one instrument, young musicians, or professionals, MakingMusicMag.com is a lifestyle resource for all music makers, regardless of age, instrument, or ability. We focus on providing educational articles teaching people how to play an instrument, but we also favor travel pieces, music related health articles, interesting news stories, and plenty more.

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