I am curious why a finely made hand crafted musical instrument like a djembe drum or artisan made conga drum or bongo should be looked at any differently then a Martin guitar in terms of value or price?
No one thinks twice or questions the price of a top of the line guitar. When I see these guitars for sale I never see any feedback that say’s, “that’s too much” or “”it’s too expensive”. People accept it as a finely made instrument made by master craftsmen.
People know what it is, they educate themselves about the instruments and if they don’t want to spend that kind of cash then they buy a cheaper model. For example, a Martin SSD3513 Acoustic Guitar Natural with Case is $8000.
Or perhaps a $32,000-$250,000 piano? How do people afford these?
It’s time for us all to recognize that professional level congas, djembes and bongos are indeed musical instruments and not toys. Top of the line hand built djembes, congas and bongos are just as valuable, are made just as well as any other musical instrument. There is an amazing amount of time, work and skill involved.
I am not suggesting we raise prices of hand percussion, nor do I want to pay more. I am not suggesting prices be raised. What I am questioning is why we do not look at percussion instruments made by master drum makers the same way we look at other musical instruments? Their craft is just as much work and skill..if not more then other musical instruments.
Why do some people think that the drum is not an instrument but a toy? Should something ..because it is from or originating in West Africa or Cuba be deemed as “cheaper” and if so, why?
Its time we all realize this fact. Much training and many, many hours go into the making of your drum. There is much innovation each drum creator invokes.
If a skin on a djembe does not work out the maker has to put another one on at his own cost. He can not contact the buyer and say, “you have to pay more because this is going to take me another day”.
If you worked out a per hour price you would find that it is pennies per hour. No one is getting rich off of high end percussion instruments. I am not talking about cheap factory made drums of course. It’s a labor of love.
Check out the masterful carvings on a Wula Drum djembe. The skill needed is off the chart. I have not seen anyone able to carve this nicely outside of West Africa.
Look at a Drumskull Drums djembe. Each drum is a masterpiece!
If you educate yourself and learn what goes into the making of your instrument you will find that it is indeed worth every penny and you would not question the price.
The price of a high end instrument is not an arbitrary price. It is based on many factors.
So before commenting to a drum builder or seller, “that’s too much”, educate yourself what goes into the building of a drum.
If you want a top of the line drum then be prepared to pay for it. If you don’t want to pay then save or buy a cheap drum.
But please do not complain to these people that are putting their heart and souls into their work. They deserve every penny. I am not advocating a price hike I am asking us all to rethink how we look at hand percussion.