Whether being played in a group or solo, the djembe is more than just another percussion instrument. Long used in drum circles and even protests, the djembe is a symbol of peace and community. The infectious sound draws you to it and with its simple method of playing, anyone can become a djembe player with relative ease. The rhythm of a djembe has been a part of African culture for centuries. Originating in West Africa, the djembe was primarily used in traditional gatherings and ceremonies. The instrument's popularity seeped into modern music with artists such as Paul Simon incorporating it on his award winning album Graceland. The African choral singing accompanied by djembe and other percussion instruments was a ground breaking new sound that became increasingly popular with a world beat movement. A solid hardwood is always used in the construction of a djembe. With such heavy hand drumming, the instrument needs to be solid. It is also useful for the projection of sound as hardwood does not absorb noise as easily as softwood. Dynamic pressure on the head causes the sound to echo perfectly off the walls of a hardwood drum. The drum skin is available in both animal hide and synthetic materials. Both offer an authentic sound and adjust perfectly to an aggressive solo. The stretch from the side rope holds the skin tight and if necessary can be adjusted over time. With a lot of wear, your djembe actually starts to gain a deeper and more genuine tone, so play away. Playing a djembe is by nature, being a part of something. The history of a djembe is rooted in the sharing of music and communal celebration. These instruments are meant to be played often and vigorously and are ideally constructed to do so.