Buying A Djembe Drum
Buying a drum can seem bewildering at first but with a few simple pointers you could be starting a lifelong relationship!
Fair Trade - please think about it. The drum is likely to be better made and you get to know the maker has been given a fair price. Maybe even more importantly its likely to come from a sustainable source. Some of those forest trees bear witness to the twentieth century - your drums just not important enough!
Skin - turn the drum upside down and hold it up to the light or a drum - you will see any imperfections, really light patches and even holes. Most djembe drums are goat and it is that, that I would recommend. A well-strung cow skin is stronger, but you need hands of steel as its very tough! I'd steer clear of game hides for the reasons above...
Base - check for cracks around the base. Europe is a dryer climate than west Africa and extremes of temperature can lead to the whole wood splitting.
Single or double weave - double weave is more expensive - it tends to get the skin tighter and can make it easier for you to retune yourself .
Don't forget to play it though, my favourite ever was a nine inch single weave. We just got on. I still miss her.