What Is Doumbek? How To Play Doumbek?

What Is Doumbek? How To Play?


Doumbek is a very old musical instrument. It is a percussion instrument used especially in palace entertainment in the Balkans and the Middle East in the Middle Ages. Although it is mostly forgotten, it is still used. still used in Turkey. In ancient times, its body was made of mud and cooked. Now its body is made of copper and wood.

Its body is shaped like a bowl and the skin is stretched over it. The lower part of the body is thinner and the upper part is wider. Doumbek is close to darbuka in size. The people who play the doumbek are not completely forgotten even though they are few. Especially those who are interested in percussion instruments are very fond of the doumbek tone. It has a unique voice. Doumbek drum is not easy to play, it should be played by giving its right.




In the Middle Ages, Turks skillfully played doumbek drum, most of them attracted the attention of foreign people. People who have little interest in music also have a voice to enjoy. The rarity now is even more interesting for music lovers.

History of Doumbek

Doumbek drum is a percussion instrument used in the Crimean Tatars, the Middle East and the Balkans since the Middle Ages. In other words, as its name suggests, history of doumbek is very old. At that time, the time of palace entertainments was used. Towards the XX century, it is now forgotten. But today, even though a little bit of doumbek is still used, it is taught to play in some courses. It is similar to darbuka, but there is a difference in tone, it is not exactly the same instrument.

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Doumbek made great contributions to the recognition of the world from the Middle East to the world. The knuckle was also played in the Ottoman palaces. Doumbek spread to Europe thanks to the Ottoman Empire. Today, there are people who play doumbek drum in most European countries, although there are a few musical instruments sold. In fact, at some big concerts, the doumbek is played.

history of doumbek

Arab countries and Turks have made special types of doumbek. The doumbek made by the Turks are older. This unique music that Turks played in later times attracted the attention of other peoples and became widespread in other countries. It has attracted a lot of attention, especially in Arab countries that are close to us in terms of music. It has been a musical instrument that both simple people and court members listen to. The doumbek drum going from the Ottoman to the West also attracted the attention of music lovers in European countries. It was the musical instrument that people and court members loved and listened to. The doumbek going from the Ottoman to the West also attracted the attention of music lovers in European countries.

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Types of Doumbek

The varieties of doumbek vary according to the materials used in its construction. The bowl consists of a bowl-shaped body and stretched leather or plastic. The bowl-shaped body can be made of doumbek, wood, copper, iron. In the middle ages, this trunk was made of doumbek. Then they waited for days in the sun, cooked and waiting for them to harden. Later, they were putting goats or cowhide on it. Before they started playing, they kept the skin soft from the heat by waiting it under the sun. In this way, the stretched leather sounded better.

types of doumbek

Nowadays it is very difficult to find such a doumbek drum. Currently, iron, copper body, plastic stretched anchors are sold. While it is being made, it is tried to make the sound quality like a mud and leather knuckle. In other words, varieties of doumbek changed according to time. It is no longer preferred because it requires more material and more time to prepare it from handcrafted leather and mud. The doumbek produced by the factories are mostly sold. Used for rhythmic music. It is fixed to the leather or plastic body stretched on it with a frame. The edges of the frame become stiff, causing the hand to hurt while playing. For this reason, the frame part is grated so as not to hurt the hand in today's varieties. There are different types of doumbek in the Arabs. It has become widespread among Arab and Turkish peoples since its early days.

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How To Play Doumbek?

Doumbek is a percussion instrument. It is played by striking by hand or sticks. Doumbek drum has a special rhythmic tone, it is easy to play, but difficult to see from a distance. It is necessary to be able to hold the rhythm, so there is a learning period. According to darbuka, his voice is more ringing. Those who really have a musical ear can feel the difference with the darbuka.

how to play doumbek

How to play a doumbek? It is useful to learn from the master. Like any musical instrument, it has its own challenges. In some music courses, there are also lessons of doumbek drum together with the darbuka. The fact that it is similar to darbuka does not mean that anyone who can play darbuka can also play doumbek. Although it is very similar, the plastic structure stretched on it and the tone it emits is different. Therefore, it is necessary to do hard work to play the doumbek well.


  • Alper

    Thanks for informations :)

  • Ece

    Fantastic! I want to learn Doumbek :)

  • kübra

    doumbek😍 very nice!

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