Drums for schools or workshops
As weight is probably the main consideration, given either the quantity of drums or that they may be played and carried by children, the Ghanaian range of lightweight African cedar are to be recommended.
Drums for players or performers
The hardwood drums, though heavier, generally produce a better quality of sound and if it’s the best you’re looking for, look no further than the outstanding pro-djembe range.
Choice of which drum will be dependent on the style of drumming you wish to do so here are some considerations followed by some information on the most popular drum types.
African drumming workshops/drum groups (Playing traditional African rhythms)
Easily the most popular and widespread is the djembe which is traditionally played with the dunun bass drums, bells and sometimes percussion also. Another increasingly popular style is Ghanaian drumming, using a variety of hand and stick drums such as the kpanlogo, ewe drums and a wide range of bells and percussion. So it might pay to find out which styles you prefer and which teachers or classes are available.
Drum circles/Rhythm workshops/Drum jams
The loose structure and often improvised style of these events means you can pretty much choose anything you like the sound of. If you are a facilitator and providing drums for these events it can pay to have a range of different sounding instruments to complement one another.
Djembe - Goblet shaped hand drum with goat skin (Sometimes cow or antelope) Good bass, sharp slaps.
Dunun - Barrel shaped with cow skin each end. Played with a stick to give deep bass.
Bougarabou - Similar to djembe but taller and with cow or antelope skin. Good bass, rich tone.
Goumbe - Similar to a conga, distended barrel shape with cow or antelope skin. Good bass, mellow tone.
Kpanlogo - Distended barrel shape with antelope skin held by pegs. Rich but soft tone.
Ewe drums - Similar to kpanlogo but come in a range of sizes and played with sticks or stick and hand.