About African Drums

Drums are delightful instruments, and they generate lovely sound. In the Gambia and other African countries, drums are quite essential in people’s day to-day lives. We utilize them in a variety of ways, for instance, we have those ones that are used for conveying messages to people in town or sometimes to send messages to adjacent villages. Similarly, there are drums for festivities such as weddings or christening ceremonies.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AFRICAN DRUMS

Talking Drums

Talking drums usually have an hourglass designed body that is tuned by use of strings from one skin to another. They are basically used to ‘convey messages’ by varying the tightness on the drumheads. The central part of the drum is positioned under your arm, and then you squeeze it to create a higher tone. Releasing it brings the tone lower. All the while you’re required to play it using a curled stick on one side while the hand, as well as your fingers, are on the other part of the drum. It is exciting to discover that you can alter the notes while playing and arrest the pace of human speech devoid of words, as seen from the reviews. Basically, they translate particular words into expressions to convey the message via a drum beat.

Kpanlogo Drums

The kpanlogo drum has its roots in the Larger Accra Area of West Africa. It is also recognized as a ritualistic drum. Owing to its outstanding ability to generate sounds that extend over long distances, its rhythms were regularly used as a means to communicate amongst tribes and family clusters.

Djembe Drums

This is a customary rope adjusted drum that has its roots in West African music. Its body is normally hardwood with a crude goatskin head. Djembe drums vary in dimensions from 12 inches to 15 inches and create loud sounds. It is usually played by use of hands. The size of the drum differs contingent on how taut the skin’s rigidity is. There are three basic techniques applied while playing the Djembe; low-pitched, medium-pitched as well as slap. They are commonly played by interchanging the position and method to generate complex rhythms.

Tongue Drums

Tongue drums also known as hand or finger drums are either curved or box designed sections of material (commonly wood) gouged out with several flaps or “tongues” cut off from the exterior so that when the drum is hit, a specific
pitch will resound out of the whole drum which qualifies the drum to be classified as an idiophone. By gouging tongues of various lengths, you end up getting lower or higher tones out of each one.

Slit Drums

The Slit Drum is a hollow box shaped drum that has one or more slits on the top of it. They are thought to be the first drum that was created and are known to send messages through long distance communications as the sound can travel further. They are a resonating chamber because none of the sides except the slit are open. The slit (also known as the tongue) is hit using a mallet to project the pitch on the drum.