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theFoot

Ashiko vs. Djembe

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So, if I wanted to get one hand drum that could be used for satisfying bass tones and also cutting slaps, what would it be?

What's the difference between the Ashiko and the Djembe?

Does one need to be large than the other to produce fuller tones?

Are there really different techniques for either?

Why don't I just play a conga?

 

Discuss...

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I'd get a single conga before a djembe and/or ashiko. I dunno about the ashiko but playing a djembe and playing a conga aren't the same. Djembes have some long lingering tones where congas don't. congas are heard more in latin stuff and djembes in African music.

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I don't think it's so cut and dry.

 

I've accompanied acoustic players doing rock stuff on the djembe and it sounded appropriate. I know of a couple local bands that feature djembe players along side of the drummers. The reason for the conga being drier is in large part due to it's thicker head. I've only played a couple ashikos. The first impression I had with them was that bass wasn't as in your face as the djembe is. Other than that, I thought they had a lot of similarities.

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There's a group that reminds me a lot of Rusted Root, but have a much more "Gypsy" feel to them, including a couplea HAWT Gypsy looking girls who dance around & sing & play finger chime, etc. can't think of their name right now, it'll come to me.

 

Anywho, their drummer has a HUUUUUGE djembe as his kick. It sounds fuggin AWESOME!

 

So there you go.

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yeah, seen a couple djembe kick-pedal setups. that's a pretty cool idea.

i'm also looking for the shaker on a pedal. Meinl makes a pretty sweet one.

 

anyway back to our program... where slappidy?

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Well in my opinion which some of you know and those of you whom do , knew this was coming, the Djembe is very over rated. They are great drums , and are much more popular that Ashikos , but I find them much less responsive and generally undeserving of thier (quite impressive) popularity.

 

Obviously I am an Ashiko builder/salesman so I've got a biased opinion , but bang for the buck I think an Ashiko is a better investment (mine or another builders)

 

Most people will disagree , this is fine. The only time it bugs me is when people who haven't played an Ashiko go saying Djembes are better because they are more common. If you've played both and prefer the Djembe then cool beans.

 

Congas have had thier day and are still cool , but way too much hassle (I own three)

 

For me the big differences

 

Resonance and Sustain - equal size Djembe has deeper Bass but less sustain almost always you can find a larger Ashiko w/ equal bass and more sustain for less $$ than a Djembe one size down

 

Tone - I can just get more sounds out of an Ashiko than I can get out of a Djembe , lots more mid range

 

Responce - I get way better sound from different techniques (fingers - heel toe -hums - open slaps)

 

Weight - my hardwood drums are about the same weight (just lighter) that Djembes , my Softwood drums are a fraction of the weight of a decent Djembe , and my Redwood drums sound and look fantastic (any other Softwood Ashiko made by a different but competent company would too , Ashikos like soft and hard woods) Sadly most softwood djembes sound like total ass. Other than the Mienel Djembe that Cheese likes (which is slowly growing on me , slowly , usually the heavier the Djembe the better the sound (wood density not mass)

 

But don't get me wrong I do love a good Djembe (and do love the good Djembe that I own) , I dont think anyone should have just one hand drum , (they get lonely).............

 

I do think that the Ashiko : is a better all around drum , easier to learn on , and cheaper to aquire , and easier to get localy (Buy American)

 

My current fav is our mid size Ashiko it is in my mind the easiest to play and most versitile drum (for it's size) I just took one that size w/ on vacation to Mexico , flew w/ it and walked around w/ it , and played as I went.

 

2 from Mexico

Bimbo!

cruise012.jpg

 

 

these guys are awesome

cruise019.jpg

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side note ,

 

Slaphappydrums.com is getting a makeover so don't bother going there till I post about it being finished. I'm stoked for a new site and will mention it's completion.

 

If anyone needs to contact me for anyting just PM or myspace or etsy will have to do for now.

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thanks for the info slappy.

 

what size drum is the one you took south of the border? it looks like a 10" head, maybe?

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Cool beans there Slap Happy!! (haven't heard that in a decade or so)

 

I agree with pretty much everything you said about the tonality diff's of the two types of drums. Personaliy, and I haven't played either all that much, I prefer a Djembe for its fuller tone. An Ashiko seems to just sound and feel thinner to me. Maybe I haven't had the opportunity to play a high quality Ashiko, but the ones I've played in cirlces just can't hold up to the power of a Djembe. Just my Op.

 

But I do very much appreciate the info on both drums. And I will listen and feel both drums from a different percpective from now on (going to a music festival this weekend and should be able to try out of few of each from vendors).

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Foot - 7.75" playing surface , 10" ring to ring

 

Another big thing to point out is that you need to keep an Ashikos in tune to really let it wail much like Tabla, Djembe do keep their tune longer. Mostly this is due to the number of knots on the rings , and can be copied in an Ashiko.

 

Also you tend to more see larger Djembes out there than Ashikos , Big Ashiko = BIG Sound , sometimes creating bass so deep you need to be away from the drum to hear all of it.

 

I like medium Small , and medium Big.

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You'll kinda see that in folk groups now and then ,w/ a Remo Djembe as a Snare , it'd be cool to see as a bass , might sound better w/ a beater too.

 

I want to build a huge ass DjunDjun and use it as a Bass.

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I have a fairly large metal Duembek that has a tambourine built inside. That thing has so many voices, I especially like slapping the sides in contrast to the deep bass. By far it's the most versatile drum I've ever played.

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I have a fairly large metal Duembek that has a tambourine built inside. That thing has so many voices, I especially like slapping the sides in contrast to the deep bass. By far it's the most versatile drum I've ever played.

 

hmmmm. nice one. so how does the Duembek compare to the aforementioned hand drums?

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Think
middle eastern
.

 

yum! like hummus and, flat breads and baba ganoush?

 

I kinda like the the "North African" sound. (Think Peter Gabriel.) with that singing kinda slap. I reckon that's more like a dumbek than a djembe, no?

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I wouldn't mind making a kick out of a 18/20" djembe or ashiko. Maybe just get one a' those cheap Remo ones.

 

I've seen a local band play with a 12 incher as a kick, he triggered it up, and it sounded great.

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I've seen a local band play with a 12 incher as a kick, he triggered it up, and it sounded great.

 

huh, what sounds great? the drum or the sample?

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hmmmm. nice one. so how does the Duembek compare to the aforementioned hand drums?

 

this one is actually very comparible to a Djembe but made of metal instead of wood. I also own a small ceramic Doumbek(spelled it wrong before) that's non adjustable and has a decent low but a very sharp and cutting tone.

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