Djembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered
goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa.The
djembe has a body (or shell) carved of hardwood and a drumhead made
of untreated (not limed) rawhide, most commonly made from goatskin.
Excluding rings, djembes have an exterior diameter of 30?38 cm
(12?15 in) and a height of 58?63 cm (23?25 in).
The djembe can produce a wide variety of sounds, making it a most versatile drum. The drum is very loud, allowing it to be heard clearly as a solo instrument over a large percussion ensemble. The Malinké people often say that a skilled drummer is one who "can make the djembe talk", meaning that the player can tell an emotional story.
For its size, the djembe is an unusually loud drum. The volume of the drum rises with increasing skin tension. On a djembe tuned to solo pitch, skilled players can achieve sound pressure of more than 105 dB, about the same volume as a jackhammer.
Djembe players use three basic sounds: bass, tone, and slap, which have low, medium, and high pitch, respectively. These sounds are achieved by varying the striking technique and position.
With practice and training a beginner could become a skilled player and learn to use the sounds to create very complex rhythmic patterns; the combination of rhythm and the differently pitched sounds often leads an inexpert listener to believe that more than one drum is being played.