African percussion

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Introducing our range of African percussion

Our range of African percussion is perfect for use in ensembles, music groups and classrooms, with a variety of instruments from all over the African continent. The products we supply in our range are from brands such as Meinl, Percussion Plus, Percussion Workshop and Toca Freestyle, so you can be sure to find great quality instruments at affordable prices. We also have education packs that are perfect for teachers looking to add to their music department and teach their students about world music. Read more...

Introducing our range of African percussion

Our range of African percussion is perfect for use in ensembles, music groups and classrooms, with a variety of instruments from all over the African continent. The products we supply in our range are from brands such as Meinl, Percussion Plus, Percussion Workshop and Toca Freestyle, so you can be sure to find great quality instruments at affordable prices. We also have education packs that are perfect for teachers looking to add to their music department and teach their students about world music.

Djembes

A djembe is traditionally a rope-tuned goblet drum that is played with bare hands and has a skin head. Djembe drums are originally from West Africa, and its thought that the name comes from the saying “Anke dje, anke be”, which means “everyone gather together in peace” in the Bambara language. It is a very versatile drum as it can produce a variety of sounds, and those that play the djembe are referred to as djembefola.

The Meinl Viva Rhtyhm napa head Pop-Off djembe has a brightly coloured synthetic shell and a pre-tuned napa head perfect for use in schools, and the Percussion Plus Honestly Made Ghanian djembe, which was hand crafted in Ghana using traditional methods and materials and has double stringing to make the tuning extra stable.

Popular with schools, the Percussion Plus Slap Djembe provides an easy way to teach, and learn, the djembe. Also available is the Andy Gleadhill Slap Djembe book with a teaching method and tunes from around the world, including two from the African continent - in fact a new range of Slap Djembes ('World'), unveiled in 2024, builds upon the designs featured in the book. Manufactured in the world’s premier Djembe factory in Bali, these fantastic educational drums are more durable, resonant and vibrant than ever. With their instructive drumheads and robust construction, World Slap Djembes make a brilliant addition to any music education setting.

Talking drums

A talking drum is named so because its pitch can be regulated to imitate the metrics and tone of human speech. It’s a hour-glass shaped drum originating from West Africa, and it has two drumheads connected by tension cords so the player can change the pitch of the drum by scraping the cords between their arm and body. In the 18th century, these drums were used to send messages over distances as far as 4-5 miles.

Examples of talking drums we have in our range include the Percussion Workshop 7” talking drum, which is ideal for classrooms and is supplied with a curved beater, and the Percussion Plus talking drum which has an embossed brass shell and comes with a bag and mallet.

Shakers

There is a variety of shakers that originate from Africa, such as cabasas, straw shakers, and kelele shakers. They add a vibrant, bright sound to any percussion section, and allow students to have fun engaging with rhythm activities in the classroom, making them a great addition to your music department.

Examples of shakers we have in our range of African percussion include the Percussion Plus Honestly Made Caxixi single straw shaker with a vibrant, colourful woven design, and crafted in Ghana using traditional materials and methods. There’s also the Percussion Plus Honestly Made African cabasa with shells, which creates a lovely “chichichi” sound when played, and is made from a gourd with dozens of tiny shells.

Education packs

At Chamberlain Music, we know how important it is that students have access to a variety of instruments in their musical education, and so we have a selection of great education packs in our range of African percussion for teachers to add to their music department.

Examples of education packs we supply in our range include the Percussion Workshop African percussion pack, which includes a wide variety of instruments such as a Gambian cabasa, monkey drums and single caxixi seed shakers, and also comes with a guide to African music CD provided.
There is also the Toca Freestyle djembe packs, the djembes included featuring protective, non-slip rubber bottom, and the Andy Gleadhill “Slap Djembe” teaching resource is also included in this pack.

Other instruments

We also supply a variety of other instruments in our range of African percussion, such as claves and monkey drums, which also make great additions to the classroom.

The Percussion Plus small monkey drum is a traditional hand drum with a lightweight wooden frame and handle, played by rolling the handle between your palms, it is an ideal instrument for children to get involved with percussion sounds.

The Meinl African claves are made from solid hardwood and feature a large, resonating body that is easy to hold for younger students.

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