Talking Drum Course

This course covers the things needed to become a professional drummer as far as Talking Drum is concerned. It is a step-by-step guide to play talking drum professionally.

Talking Drum Course

 The talking drum is an hourglass-shaped drum from West Africa, whose pitch can be regulated to mimic the tone of human speech. It has two drumheads connected by leather tension cords, which allow the player to modulate the pitch of the drum by squeezing the cords between their arm and body. A skilled player can play whole phrases. Most talking drums sound like a human humming depending on the way they are played.

In this course on Talking Drum, emphasis is laid on how to acquire the skills and how to develop them.


  • History
  • Talking Drum basics
  • Uses and Maintenance 
  • Tone Markers
  • Beats on the drum
  • Adding effects
  • Doing the talking


The History of Talking Drum can be traced back to West Africa, and The Yoruba tribe to be precise. From ancient times, The talking drum has become part of the culture tools associated with the Yoruba, most especially in their music. This musical instrument serves many purposes ranging from message to entertainment to worship.

Talking Drum Basics

When it comes to learning how to play Talking Drum professionally, some things must first be known or put in place to play skilfully and professionally, because they serve as basis for learning and knowing how to play this drum. They include:

  1. Knowing the materials (their names and how to get them when the need arises)
  2. Know how and when to use the drum.
  3. Know about the maintenance 
  4. Know about the repair (What to consider before giving it out for repair)
Talking Drum Course

Uses and Maintenance

As said earlier, Talking Drum serves many different purposes. It can be used to convey a message and pass it across to a group of people. It can also be used to encode a message that takes only those who are well skilled in listening and have their ears tuned to decode. Apart from that, it can also be used in several social events such as wedding, house warming, festivals etc.

It is also worth to note that Talking Drum has been a part of the Yoruba people’s culture, has played a major role in their worship and traditional religion.

Beats on Talking Drum

Like other drums, Talking Drum can also be used to play or create beats. slow beats and fast beats can be created by this drum. Some of the proverbs and sage sayings among the Yorubas have even been used to create beats on the Talking Drum. There is need also to know about the strikes, such as single strikes, double strikes and so on.

Adding Effects

Learning to play the Talking Drum is not complete if one does not know how to play the effects on the drum. Playing the Talking Drum professionally has to do, in most cases, with making use of the right and left hand to play out effects on the drum. Some effects are played out by the drum stick, some are played by the finger placement on the drum and some are played by how much the drum rests on or comes in contact with the body.

Talking Drum Course

Doing the talking

It has been clearly stated that to play talking drum skilfully one must know certain things and there are basic requirements. Now, to talk with the Talking Drum, one needs to be conversant with the correct use of language especially with proverbs and popular adages and sage sayings.

Are there any course requirements or prerequisites?

  • Talking Drum

Who this course is for:

  • Lovers of music
  • Lovers of percussion instruments
  • Anyone who wants to know about the culture of the Yoruba people
  • Everyone who wants to know about Talking Drum
  • Entertainer

What you’ll learn

  • Identify Tone Markers
  • Play and form different beats
  • Play effects on Talking Drum

After taking this course you should be able to play Talking Drum professionally anywhere and at anytime


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