Doumbek drums are a very versatile instrument with a long and ancient history. They have a goblet shaped body and were traditionally used throughout the Middle East and parts of North Africa. The doumbek produces a crisp sound. Traditionally the goblet part of the drum was made of wood, pottery, or metals. Modern doumbeks are typically made of synthetic materials, aluminum, or copper. They are played resting under an arm or on a leg. The light quick strokes played on them make them a really unique drum both to play and to listen to.
From the perspective of a belly dancer, drum solos are a wonderful means of self-expression. The different rhythms give the foundation for a great performance. The faster rhythms can be great for layering moves and shimmies. Doumbeks are played lightly and quickly which makes them very good for drum rolls. This also makes them very good for belly rolls. The more exaggerated beats can be great for lifts and drops as well as other dramatic motions on the part of the dancer. The crisp, clear music of the doumbek is great for tight movements and isolations. This makes it the perfect music to choreograph a routine to.
It is hard not to smile when dancing to the playful sound of drums. The energy of the drum can combine with the energy of the dancer for a performance that is truly an experience. As any good performer knows, energy and enjoyment are two things that shine through a performance and make the dance more fun to watch. Not to mention the fact that having live music always adds to the excitement of a show. The combined effect of doumbek drums and belly dance can very well make you want to jump up out of your chair and join in. Everyone wants to feel connected to their audience when they dance, and drums are a very good way to promote this feeling.
Historically drums have been used in combination with dance in ceremonies. This was considered to be a form of communication with something greater than man. Drums and dancing still excite our imagination and stir our passions to this very day. For a belly dancer, nothing could be more exciting.