We have created this category to help female drummers select a djembe that will best suit their needs. Our lady djembe players say they want a drum that isn't too heavy, which can be easily transported to drum class or the drum circle. The weight threshhold seems to be around 15 pounds, and size should be between 11"-12" head size, and 22"-24" tall. Djembe features that affect weight are size, wood type, and carving style. Hardwood djembes from Mali, Senegal, or Guinea tend to be heavier than djembes from Ghana when comparing similar sizes. So, a 12"x24" Ghana djembe will be lighter than a 12"x24" Mali djembe, for example. And when wood type is similar, an 11"x22" djembe will be lighter than a 13"x24". A regular full size adult djembe is usually 12.5-13.5" head diameter, and 23-25" tall.
Women, you need to decide if you want a drum that will fit your hand size and body height, enabling you to play with proper djembe technique, or if you want an under-size djembe that will be lighter and easier to carry, but not necessarily be suitable for playing at djembe class. There is a trade off. If the drum is too short you won't be able to place the drum on the floor between your legs as you sit in a regular height chair, which will require that you hold the drum off the ground; this can become very tiring. Thus we recommend not purchasing a drum shorter than 22" tall. If the head size is too small for your hands, then when you play regular tones and slaps you'll also be bringing in bass sounds, which can muddy up the sound and give you less crispness and clarity of sound. To compensate you'll end up pulling your hands futher back from the playing edge, which can make playing painful, or will result in lower quality sound response. For this reason we recommend that you don't get a drum head smaller than 11" diameter.
The 11"x22" djembe is usually suitable for women who are up to 5 1/2' tall, with 12"-13"x23"-24" djembes recommended for women taller than 66". Even with harder wood djembes, you'll still want to select a drum that is lighter than 15 pounds when possible.
Below are drums that we regularly stock, imported direct from West Africa, but which are pre-selected to meet our recommended criterion for a woman's djembe - under 15 pounds and petite to standard size. We carefully go through our drums when they arrive and mark them according to weight. There are often not many from Mali or Senegal that are lighter than 15 pounds, while most 11" djembes from Ghana are closer to 11-12 pounds. Always feel free to contact us with specific questions as you go through the fun process of picking out the djembe that is right for you. Happy Drumming!