All About Udu Drum


All About Udu Drum

Percussion is one of the most important articles of African folk and music. As talking drums, the sound of drums has been used a message that consider some means during too many centuries. Also, the beat of drum and percussion has been household tool as music instruments. And today, African culture developed a lot of percussion instruments that are known at World wide. So, African musicians can reach commonly used drums like udu drum.

Udu means vessel in Igbo language. It is a clay pot with an opening at the head and on the side, the pot is played by hands by striking. Each udu drum offers individual values. They can be played by hitting the drum with the palm or finger tips. The textured surfaces provide variations by creating rubbing sounds.
The udu drum has very bright and wet sonuds. Main body of udu drum is ideal for conga and bongo players. It has rich and great textures between chambers. The chambers generate mellow, dry bass tones while flat chamber create bright, sharp tones. And also its sounds may be similar to dumbek or tabla.

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History of Udu Drum

Drum is based upon centuries old African cultures and traditions. Udu is one of those percussion intruments. The people of Nigeria has a native intsrument like that. But there is a strange feature of the udu. It was developed by the women of Nigeria from clay pots. In Igbo, those clay pots was used to carry the water. In homes, the women was used to store grain and foods. However, ıt has been subserved to be for bee colonies. And then, the people was collected honey from the udu’s. So, we can say that It was quite helpful for Igbo farmers.
The feature and evolution was not a coincidence in African culture. Not only as a household item but also as a rite item, it was used for women’s ceremonies, especially traditional cultures. Then, the udu drum was evolved and spreaded all over the World. It was used in Africa pop music, acoustic performances, bands and the churches of around the World.
At the present time, you cannot reach that instrument easily. It is not commonly used. But if you want to have an udu drum, you can visit our web site. The udus that we sell in our store are hand-made and professional udus.


Udu Drum Making Process

The main material of its body is soil and it is a 100% natural instrument. It is made by blending the soils in different regions of Anatolia, resting and making it usable, without using any templates, completely handcrafted on a pottery/tornet loom, adhering to Hittite techniques.

At this point, it is left to dry in a way that it will not be exposed to sun and wind. During drying, completely improvised reliefs are worked on, then the instruments are polished and prepared for firing. In the natural oven, wood, several types of straw, sawdust, dung, grape seeds and garbage are burned and cooked in 1 full day, the firing degrees are adjusted according to the desired sound. In the last stage, the production process is completed with coloring and retouching.

Generally, September-October of the year is preferred for Udu production. It is mostly used in indoor environments and studio recordings. Its roots are in ancient Egypt, the Middle East, Africa, it is called the Udu.

The Udu instrument is a hand-played musical instrument, and a special and unique bass sound is produced by rapidly hitting the big hole. Harder hits and slaps produce louder sounds, while slow finger taps produce basic bass sounds. Today, the instrument is chosen by percussionists in different musical styles. Many traditional and modern instruments are also derived from the udu, such as the udu drums.

What is An Udu Drum?

The udu drum was invented in Southern Nigeria, by the women of Igbo. And also, It is traditionally one of the women's ceremonial tools. It is usually made of clay, in the form of a narrow necked, vase-like vessel, with a circular hole in the side in addition to the opening at the top. Udu drum is playing depend on the udu player as individually like all drums. Playing technique varies is most important thing while playing a drum. It has some holes on the side and the top. So, you must drum with your pal mor fingers. And it should create and change the tone of drum voice.

Udu drum is diffrent from normal set of drums, because of made of clay. So, it has not a skin or membrane over the hole. But some instruments are derived from udu drum such as utar, kim-kim, zarbang-udu. They are similar. Udu drum is played by hand. The udu players prodeuces a bass sound by quickly hitting the
big hole. Some like that can be changed. While playing the udu drum, the player can be used two hands and fingers. Nowadays the udu drum is widely used by percussionists in their performances and concerts all around the World.

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How to Play an Udu Drum?

The udu drum has a small hole to gather the air and carries the sound. It has a wide range of different voices. Especially, it is used to obtain bass sounds. These beats move the rhythm of the song and band. It can makes deep sound or short clap-like sound. The udu drum is played by tapping, moving hands over the hole. The hands and fingers over and away from the hole produce different sounds. The most important part of the udu drum is the side hole. It cause that the sound passes from low to higher pitch. You may cover the hand over the side hole and immediately remove your hand for that effect.

The udu instrument is played by tapping, that are another big point for playing udu drum. You can make deep and bass sounds and also you can obtain short and louder beats. With two hands, you can organize bass sounds and clap-like sounds and then you can mix these rhythms.

Finally, you might have some skills for playing udu drum because it is necesarry to manage all fingers. You might provide the right beat.

1 comment

  • Samara

    This is an amazing article, I love to learn from your culture, always felt a part of me is from you. Love from México.

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