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Vegan Drums - Animal Friendly Drumming

Updated on April 21, 2014

A vegan drum is a drum made without animal hides... as drums were traditionally made. Vegan drums have a synthetic drumming surface.

I joined a drum circle - but I needed a vegan drum. I helped start the drum circle here. We live in a very small mountain town. I had seen drum circles on YouTube and loved the idea of a rhythm community. A friend of mine agreed and together we started our Saturday evening drum circle under the Giant Dreamcatcher here in Happy Camp.

None of us had drums... except one man who had two. That helped get us started along with a collection of up-turned buckets and a big trash can that served as our "bass drum".

But I wanted a real drum, and it had to be something vegan. In other words, I didn't want a drum with an animal hide on it.

At first I didn't even know if such a thing was possible... but I was thrilled to find the Remo drum company that makes their drums with synthetic drum heads.

I bought a sixteen-inch buffalo drum, and LOVE it...

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The vegan drum pictured above is a 14" Remo Djembe Drum - Key Tuned, with Fiberskyn drumhead and Acousticon shell..

Long-time vegetarian... but new to drumming

I needed a drum made without harming animals.

Though vegan drums aren't traditional, the Remo drum company makes all types of traditionally styled drums with synthetic heads. I am amazed at the variety of drums!

Ordinarily people tend to associate djembes with drum circles. Many drums are usable, however. My first choice was a buffalo drum, because I'd seen one in a video. Later I realized that this frame style drum was used in many cultures around the world, not just here in North America. There's a Celtic frame drum, the tar, the dar, and so many more!

This is my drum! I love it! This is a 16-inch buffalo drum - all vegan. Other sizes are available... there's a 22-inch drum, and some smaller sizes. Of course the price varies according to size.

I play it with the mallet when I want to be loud. I also set it on my left leg and play frame-drum style at times... which tends to be quieter.

As the weeks go by I learn more methods of playing. The latest is to use the mallet, then at times hit the side of the frame with the mallet handle, which is wooden. I'm having a lot of fun with this!

One of the local Native Americans actually came up to me to listen to my drumming recently. We were having a community fair, and I took my drum along to play for the crowd. It made me feel good that he actually thought my solo drumming was worth listening to!

Of course, drum circles are the best. The community spirit is amazing!

Remo 16" Buffalo Drum - This is what I bought... my first vegan drum!

Djembes - the most common drum used in drum circles - Compassionate drumming. All Vegan.

Remo DJ-0012-05 Mondo Djembe Drum - Earth, 12"
Remo DJ-0012-05 Mondo Djembe Drum - Earth, 12"

This is a beautiful 100% vegan djembe and is even made with some recycled materials! The djembe is based on drums of the West African Mandingos and has a Fiberskyn drumhead with an Acousticon shell. Supurb sound quality and easily tunable.... plus you can use it in all types of weather because there's no animal skin on it. If you care about compassion for animals, buy a vegan drum for your drum circle experience!

 
Remo Djembe Bag 14" Deluxe Black with Shoulder Strap
Remo Djembe Bag 14" Deluxe Black with Shoulder Strap

A carrying case for your djembe... a good idea!

 

Three Remo Djembes! - Great video... one guy playing lots of instruments!

Layne Redmond - When the Drummers Were Women - Playing Remo vegan tars... a type of frame drum.

This is my favorite drumming video. Lynne Redmond is a professional frame drummer and she plays on Remo vegan drums.

I love this tar!

I love the way it sounds, and the look.

If I'd seen the video, above, in which Layne Redmond plays this tar, before I bought my buffalo drum... I would probably have purchased this instead.


Remo HD871881-013 18 x 3-Inch Goat Skin Tar Frame Drum
Remo HD871881-013 18 x 3-Inch Goat Skin Tar Frame Drum

I don't see many tars at drum circles; mostly what they have is djembes! But diversity is a beautiful thing... and at least at the drum circle I attend, all types of drums and instruments are welcome. We just like to see people happy, having fun, and making music in their own unique way.

 
Remo Tar-Rine, 12" x 2-5/8", Fixed RENAISSANCE, German Silver Jingle, 10 Pairs x 2 Rows, Venwood, Aqua, Layne Redmond
Remo Tar-Rine, 12" x 2-5/8", Fixed RENAISSANCE, German Silver Jingle, 10 Pairs x 2 Rows, Venwood, Aqua, Layne Redmond

The Tar-Rine can be a lot of fun... one of the people in our drum circle bought one of these.

 

An Ocean Drum - Another all-vegan drum made by Remo

I have to add this one last video because I think this drum is amazing. It is another drum I expect to buy one of these days.

Sometimes I take my recorder to the drum circle. FYI - this beautiful tenor recorder is the one I'll buy next. The one I have now is a wooden soprano recorder. It always gives out before I'm ready. Wooden recorders are like that - plus they are hard to clean and maintain.

This recorder is a Smart Tenor Recorder - Wood Simulated - 3-Piece Recorder with Baroque Fingering and is not real wood. Plastic recorders are easier to keep clean and they won't give out and refuse to play in the middle of a drum circle. I think this beautiful instrument is awesome!

Here are some of the instruments we have at our drum circle. We like to have a variety so everyone who shows up will have something to play. We want everyone to join in whether they own a drum or not. A lot of times I'll pass my drum off to a visitor so they can have a drumming experience. There are always plenty of alternative instruments!

LP Black Beauty Cowbell LP204AN
LP Black Beauty Cowbell LP204AN

One of my friends brought a cowbell to our drum circle and we all had a lot of fun playing that!

 
8" Rhythm Sticks, Pair
8" Rhythm Sticks, Pair

Rhythm sticks are always popular at our drum circle. It is helpful to keep a lot of these simple instruments on hand so that when you have people drop in to listen, you'll be able to give them instruments like this so they can join in on the fun!

 
Tibetan Meditation Om Mani Padme Hum Peace Singing Bowl With Mallet
Tibetan Meditation Om Mani Padme Hum Peace Singing Bowl With Mallet

A friend always brought her singing bowl to the drum circle... it has a beautiful sound that inspired us.

 
LP Matador M283 Maracas
LP Matador M283 Maracas

Here's a good thing to have on hand... maracas!!

 
Tingsha Cymbals (7-metal) 2.5"D-BF005
Tingsha Cymbals (7-metal) 2.5"D-BF005

I have a set of tingshas that got passed around at our drum circle... a good addition to my drum bag.

 

So... do you have a drum? If so, what kind?

Been to any good drum circles lately?

Are you about to buy your first drum, or first vegan drum? I hope you find what you're looking for!

Any comments? - All feedback is very welcome!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cajon drums are vegan, right? Or what about one of the Cajon-Hybrid drums by Kopf, or Gon Bops, or another one I saw, Circle 7 Drums. Totally vegan and no plastic either, just wood. Seems like a good alternative, depending on what kind of drumming you're into.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Some of the best vegan friendly djembes you can buy are sold at Rhythm House Drums. Local hardwoods, hand crafted, not mass produced in a factory overseas like the Remo drums. I think we need to look at more than just the drum, as in, where it's made, what it offers for the community / environment, and where our money is actually going.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome thanks!! I'm buying the vegan drum because of this article. Blessings

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      bestguitarlessons 4 years ago

      I enjoy playing Djembe. I have been a music instructor for over 25 years and really enjoy playing various instruments. Great lens!!!

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      MemoryMistress 4 years ago

      Hello! I have a Djembe from Senegal. Its not a vegan drum but it sounds great. I didn't even know you could get vegan drums. I love the idea of the Ocean Drum, it's got me very tempted! There are some great circles near where I live. There's probably about 1 circle a day if I counted them all. It's a crazy drumming island. Thanks for your page, I've really enjoyed it.