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14" Djembe Drums


14 inch djembe

Now that we’ve covered the characteristics of the10 inch djembe and the 12 inch djembe, it’s time to talk about the 14” djembe, typically the largest standard djembe size. Remo and a few other djembe brands have djembes as large as 18 inches, but we’ll stick to the three standard sizes.

Large djembe drums like the 14” djembe are typically referred to on our site as an “XXL” size djembe and are usually the largest djembe we carry (with the exception of the 18 inch djembementioned above). The 14” wooden djembetypically measures 25”-26” tall with a 12.5”-13.5” playing surface and a 14”-15” overall head diameter. Synthetic Djembes such as theXXL Smooth Kente Fiberglass Djembe by Freedom Drums and Remo Djembes typically have an actual 13”-14” playing surface. Therefore, it’s important to remember that if you’d like the largest head possible, you’re probably better off going with a synthetic djembe.

The 14” djembe is a good fit for taller adults but, more often than not, the 14” djembe is sought after by those looking for a more powerful bass tone and a louder sound in general. Like we mentioned in our previous articles, the djembe head is similar to a sub woofer in that, as the diameter increases, the bass will also increase. The slap tone in a large djembe drum can tend to have more of a ringy overtone due to the larger head, so it’s our personal preference here at Mother Rhythm to play a djembe no larger than 14 inches in diameter. The preference of many players is to achieve a perfect blend of good bass and slap tones, and that often falls in the 12 inch djembe category. Many drummers will also choose to add a 14” djembe drum to their djembe collection, just to have a drum more capable of producing deep, powerful bass. The 14” djembe added to a collection including a 10” djembe and a 12” djembe will provide an excellent range of sounds and tones.

With all this said, let’s do a quick wrap up and go over the main characteristics of the three sizes:

10” Djembe Drum:

  • Sharp rim tones and higher-pitched overall sound
  • Convenient traveler’s drum and great for those of a smaller stature

12” Djembe Drum:

  • Nice blend of bass and rim tones
  • Most popular size ordered and played by adults

14” Djembe Drum:

  • Deep, powerful bass
  • Great for taller players or drummers looking to add a deeper bass component to their collection.


  • As the saying goes, bigger is not necessarily always better. A djembe with a very large head diameter will provide lots of bass, but may have more overtones than usual. We suggest selecting a drum with a head diameter no larger than 14 inches, unless you’re selecting a djembe for its bass alone.
  • 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 14” drum to sound exactly like the next, many factors other than size make each drum sound unique.

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