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12" Djembe Drums

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12 inch djembe

Here at Mother Rhythm Drums, we have a vast selection of djembe drums in a wide variety of styles and sizes. We pride ourselves in being one of the largest online retailers of high qualitydjembes and other hand-percussion products, but we also realize that picking just the right drum for your needs out of so many can be a somewhat daunting process. That’s why it’s important to understand the different djembe sizes; their functions and what size is ideal for you. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the traits of the 12” djembe today (stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about the other sizes).

The 12” Djembe is the standard middle-of-the road size and the most popular size ordered and played by adults. Otherwise known as an “XL” sized djembe, these drums typically measure between 23 to 24 inches tall with a 11 to 12 inch playing surface and a 13 to 14 inch overall head diameter (measured from ring to ring). We list any 12” djembes on our site like this: 23”-24” x 11”-12”.

The 12” djembe is the most popular adult size, because it’s the most comfortable drum to play while in a seated position. Most adults with a height of about 5’6 or taller will find that, when seated on a chair with a 12” djembe between their legs with the djembe slightly lifted off the floor (anchored with knees and feet), the djembe head will be about 2”-3” inches above their legs/knees. This is ideal striking position while seated. By contrast, if the drum is too low, the player’s legs will be obstacles while striking, and if the drum is too high, the player will find it necessary to lift his or her arms higher, which may result in discomfort. Keep in mind that there are many other ways to play your djembe other than in the seated position and, hence, very tall people, people shorter than 5’6, or even preteens often-times choose this drum size, however we find that this is one of the most common playing positions.

Aside from playing comfort, it’s important to consider how drum size affects sound. If you compare the drum head to a sub woofer, you can imagine that, as the head diameter increases, the bass will increase as well. Since the 12” djembe, or XL Djembe, is the middle-of-the-road size, you can see that it will also have a perfect balance of deeper bass tone due to the somewhat wider playing surface, and snappy, higher-pitched rim tones. (Note that you can also tune/tighten the djembe to attain the desired effect). This is another reason why this is the most popular size ordered, as many players are looking to achieve a nice balance and blend of sound. This is not to say that the other sizes aren’t as good, each size has its own functions and traits and we’ll explain those in future blog posts.

With all this said, let’s take a look at what we have to offer in the way of 12” djembes. Here’s some examples of some of our most popular; a 12” Remo Djembe, a 12” Freedom Fiberglass Djembe, and one of our in-house 12” djembes (please keep in mind that you must use the drop-down menus for each product in order to select the proper size. We also have many more 12” djembes than what is listed here in a variety of styles and prices):

12 inch Remo Djembe

12 inch Freedom Fiberglass Djembe

12 inch In-house Djembe

Important Tips:

  • A drum’s size shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when picking a drum best-suited for you. Many adults are just as comfortable with the L and XXL sizes as they are with the XL (12” djembe), so don’t take this to mean that if you’re 5’7, you can’t buy an L size. Since every person and every drum is an individual, it’s important to remember that a person’s height does not limit them to only one particular djembe size.
  • Tuning makes all the difference and is highly subjective. One person may find a drum to be tight-sounding, while another may find that it needs to be tuned tighter (see what we mean by tuning here ). Therefore, never expect one 12” drum to sound exactly like the next, many factors other than size make each drum sound unique.

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