What to consider

In terms of material, a drum roughly consists of a frame, a skin and a tensioning system.

The frame determines much of the weight and strength of the drum. Traditional drums are made from a tree trunk. Thereby, the frame consists of 1 piece of wood, consisting of the tree rings. Making such a frame takes a long time. Most modern frames are made from bent and glued wood. When you do a drum making workshop, the rings are usually ready. Our frames are made from 1 piece of wood though. Still, they are lightweight.
If you have to travel a lot with the drum, or often play drums for a long time, a light or small frame can be practical.

The size of the drum does not say everything about the sound it can make. A small drum with a goat skin can carry just as deeply as a large drum with a horse skin. The sound is also determined by thickness, tension, and conditions.

The skin
The type of skin should match the size of the frame. Some skins are thick, such as the skin of a horse or elk. You then need a somewhat larger surface area to create a vibration. A goat skin is firm but thin. Deer is a bit in between. You can have all kinds of reasons for choosing a particular skin. Play different drums of different sizes and listen carefully to what appeals to you, with your ears and with your heart.

Tensioning system
Under the influence of temperature, the skin expands or shrinks. This has a great influence on the sound of the drum. If you cannot adjust the tension of the drum, you have to adjust the tension by holding the drum over a fire or place it in a cool room. It is a great advantage when you can adjust the tension of the skin with a tensioning system. You can then always choose whether you want a deeper sound or a higher one and you can adjust the drum to your voice.

Buy or build your own
You can choose to build a drum yourself in a workshop. The options for this are ample and it is often a special experience. I myself use my drum as a musical instrument and I therefore chose a drum from a skilled instrument builder.
Whatever drum you purchase; The initiation of the drum is important, this is going to ensure that you become good friends.

Take good care of your drum. Play and use the drum. The quality of the drum will increase over time if it is used properly.
Don’t give up too soon if you don’t get a nice sound at first. You have to get used to each other.

I bought my own drum, by Vice, in 2010 and to this day it sounds wonderful. In 2022, I apprenticed with my partner Stephan to this craftsman. Since then we have been building these beautiful drums together with Vice and it is possible to purchase one from us. Send a message to info@veldsla.com.