Handmade African monkey drum

Monkey drums are made all around the world, we have ones from Africa, Peru and South America. They are great gifts for kids aged 3+ and adults who are looking to make ethnic sounds/recordings but how do you actually play it? It is simple.

1. Holding position

Firstly you will want to get comfortable holding your monkey drum, you will need to hold the bottom of the stick handle with both of your hands keeping them relatively flat.

2. Playing technique 

Slowly twist the stick around the palm of your hand, putting your left hand forward, right hand back. Then again the opposite way around with your left hand backwards, and your right hand forward. This will cause the stringed beads or wood to hit the body base of the monkey drum paddle. Actually making sound from it is the easy part, it is the rhythm that brings the challenges.

3. Rhythm

African monkey drums

You should keep practising and try to keep a steady beat, counting 1, 2, 3, 4, (repeat) until you are confidently making the sound on each beat. There are many designs of monkey drum, usually, the way to play stays the same, it is only the sound that varies depending upon the materials used, the size and weight of the strikers.


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