Arab Instruments Forum

Doumbek / Darbuka => Doumbek Advice, Tips Questions & Lessons => Topic started by: Fire Man on December 09, 2015, 10:28:34 AM

Title: Need advice on buying my first doumbek
Post by: Fire Man on December 09, 2015, 10:28:34 AM
 Hi Guys ! Need an information badly. Please assist me. I'm looking to buy a doumbek/darbuka drum meant for Arabian music. I've done my homework as best I can on the internet, and I think I'm going to get a Gawharet El Fan drum as most drummers seem to agree that this is the best you can get in the $220 range for this style.

    However, although I understand the differences in drum head size, I don't understand the overall height differences. Seems like the standard is about 17 inches, while a smaller size is around 12 inches. What difference does the height make?

   If anyone can clear this up, that would be great.

   Also, any other recommendations would be most helpful. Thanks everybody :)

Title: Re: Need advice on buying my first doumbek
Post by: dHuGo on December 09, 2015, 01:15:23 PM
With height it's same effect like on a pipe:
Than longer it is, it sounds even deeper. So increasing height of darbuka/doumbek affects a deep clear doum sound.

There is another effect in relation of height and diameter:
A thin, tall shape gives less decay and affects longer sounding of a single doum.
Title: Re: Need advice on buying my first doumbek
Post by: White Bear on December 12, 2015, 07:38:21 AM

Congratulations on taking up the drum! I LOVE it and hope you will too.GEFs are great drums and come in various sizes.
The Standard size is 16.9 inches in height and are 8.8 lbs. These are the original sized drums and are used for soloing.The next size up is the New Generation, which is replacing the Standard size drums. They are 17.5 inches in height and are 9.9 lbs. and are used for soloing.

After that comes the Soumbati, which is 18.5 inches in height and 12.5 lbs. It used to be used for background playing to accompany the soloist, but now it is commonly used to solo with. It is the drummers preference whether they use this drum or a smaller drum for soloing.

The largest is the Dohola, which is 21.2 inches in height and 17.1 lbs. and is used for back-up only.Generally, the larger the drum, the deeper the sound.There are some other sizes, but the above sizes are the most common. I would not buy anything smaller than the 16.9 inch size. The 12 inch in height drum sounds really small. You need a decent weight, so the drum will not bounce around on your lap while playing. It may be a child's drum. My favourite is the Standard size, but I also have a New Generation and I love it. I find I don't use my Soumbati very often.

You can buy it from

Have fun drumming!
Title: Re: Need advice on buying my first doumbek
Post by: Blue on December 15, 2015, 06:58:55 AM
You may use ceramic Doumbek. Ceramic doumbeks produce beautiful tones.  They are a little warmer in timbre than many metal doumbek and are as easy to play as the above mentioned drums.  However, ceramic doumbeks are fragile and thus, are much less durable than any metal doumbek.  If you travel with the ceramic drum, then a padded bag is needed.   For a first doumbek I would NOT recommend a ceramic drum since it is more fragile and less versatile than the metal drums.  After you get your first metal doumbek, and if you enjoy playing, then I would recommend a ceramic drum for it's beautiful, warm tone and physical appearance.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Need advice on buying my first doumbek
Post by: Big Boss on January 09, 2016, 10:56:40 AM
Before buying some you have to decide what drums do you use. from my side i will tell you, for most live shows i play the 10" soloist weighted Remo.If it is more of a concert setting than a noisy bar environment i will use my ceramic darbuka and dohola made by Descarga Percussion.
My frame drums are a 20" Cooperman Tar and a 16" Tar from Emin.This small and humble collection of drums has seen concert halls, live radio performances, traveled around the world and featured on many a CD. You don't need 300 drums, you just need a few really nice ones. In the beginning of your rhythmic journey you just need a nice, inexpensive yet inspiring, well made one!

May be it will help you.
Title: Re: Need advice on buying my first doumbek
Post by: Sreya on January 11, 2016, 11:02:55 AM
I think anyone should consider about cheap Alexandria Doumbek. Other doumbeks that are a little more expensive than the Alexandria doumbeks, but are easy to play and have beautiful tones are the Copper Doumbeks (excluding the large ones) as well as the 8 inch or 10 inch Brass doumbeks.  In addition, these drums are also a moderate size, which is another reason why they are good beginner drums.