The first tip for people who have this question, usually when looking for their first drum, is:
What do you want to do with it? What need / want do you want it to meet?
- Personal use: Travel, wellness, song accompaniment, meditation, but for yourself
- Use for you and / or another person: Generally for accompanying persons (therapists, sound massage, accompaniment of songs, etc.).
- Collective use: You with and / or for others, concert, collective rituals, ceremonies, group, internships accompanying, training ...
This will already give you size information. The larger a drum, the more suitable it is for playing for several people.
For the same skin, the larger it is, the heavier it is and takes up space (possibly to be considered for transport, or for long-term wear (during a trip or a treatment) but the more it will offer depth of sound, amplitude, and envelopment.
Note that for those who like to take their drum in a backpack, the 30 and 35 cm are particularly suitable. Otherwise 39 to 45 cm are the ideal sizes for individual use.
From 40 to 55 see 60 cm for use in sound massage, music therapy, accompaniment of small groups, great individual pleasure!
Beyond that you are really on drums for collective use, with one or more players on the same drum (ceremonies, rituals, dances, shows ...).
In what place?
Your original drum must be particularly well stretched if its use will generally be outdoors and you are in Brittany for example (!) Or more generally in the forest.
If you are often at home, or in a drier area a less tensioned original drum will be perfect.
In a sweat lodge: I particularly recommend the double-skin drums, or the thick-skinned drums (especially the buffalo which has the particularity of being particularly resistant to humidity), the bison is also very good. Synthetic skin drums can also work very well.
What type of skin to choose?
Technically they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Then of course there is the question of your affinity, sensitivity, intuition, aspiration, and there only you can answer.
Natural animal skins (historically traditional):
Overall, a goat's skin will be thinner than a deer's skin, itself thinner than a horse's skin, then a bison's skin, then a buffalo skin (thicker, heavier).
That is to say with more harmonics and less bass for the former, going towards less harmonics and more bass and depth for the latter (for the same size of drum).
Attention, it is a generality, many drums can make me lie!
These skins are generally sensitive to variations in humidity (rainy weather, forest, on the contrary being placed above the fireplace or placed in an apartment heated by radiators, or even placed next to the fire of a hut). All this will have its implication on the tension of the skin (see "Drum playability and maintenance").
For animal skins, they come from animals that have had their lives, their stories, their passages. It is up to everyone to see according to their affinity, their sensitivity. In this place you can have a particular affinity with this or that animal. A deer does not return the same energy as a bison, or a goat than a horse ... It can be interesting to answer it, or sometimes on the contrary to go towards something new ...!
The skins of these drums, whatever the craftsmen, are not tanned (therefore no chemicals) but parchment (uses of natural lime).
Hairy skin generally offers more bass and bass, on the other hand the hair tends to "capture" moisture, suddenly the drum can relax more quickly when the ambient air is humid.
Natural vegetable skins (cotton, linen, hemp ...) vegan but natural.
For those who prefer not to use animal skin, but to stay in a natural material, there are these types of drums which can be very good. Be careful, however, because they can be particularly sensitive to variations in humidity, even if they are tunable.
Synthetic skins (plastic: nylon, polymers ...) vegan, not natural.
Also for those who prefer not to use animal skin or have certain disadvantages of vegetable skin. The material is less noble, but they are particularly stable drums to variations in humidity. They will therefore require little or no adaptation to the weather conditions (a priori no need to heat the drum skin if it is wet for it to be stretched).
Based on these indications, you should already have a good starting point for your reflection ...
But above all: follow your intuition! Some say it's the drum that finds you ...!
Drums of the Earth gives you the possibility to choose your drum directly (you choose the drum that was photographed, not a credits).
You have a large choice of drums, that is to say for the same category a large of aesthetics and different skin sensitivities.
You also have, for drums that have no decoration, the possibility of having a personalized painting done.
Mélanie will be happy to assist you in the development of this painting. She has great sensitivity and wonderful inspirations.