About Darbuka

The darbuka is the drum played throughout the Middle East. Each country has their own version of the drum and their own way of playing it. It's used in folk, pop music and to accompany oriental dance. In the last decade it has also become a shining solo instrument.

Darbuka is also known as: tabla, dumbek, doumbek, darbake, dumberleki, tarabuka, tarabaki, derbake, debuka, dumbec, dumbeg, dumbelek, tablah, toumperleki or zerbaghali

Darbukas can be made out of metal with a plastic skin or clay with a natural skin.

About Split Hand Style

Split-hand is a style of playing darbuka where you use individual fingers instead of the whole hand, like in the Arabic style. It allows the drummer to play much more intricate and fast patterns, similar to Indian tabla players. This style began about twenty years ago in Turkey, and since then, there has been what I call a "revolution" there with many drummers practicing and getting inhumanly fast. Darbuka players from around the globe are coming to Istanbul to learn this style.

Split-hand players tend to prefer using clay darbukas with natural skins, but this technique also sounds amazing on the metal Arabic drum.

Misirli Ahmet, a Turkish darbuka player, invented the Turkish Split Hand Technique around the turn of the century while living in the Sinai Desert with his brothers. Many drummers got ideas and inspiration from Ahmet, and he deserves recognition as the father of this technique.

There are now many other players like B├╝nyamin Olguncan and Suat Borazan, who have taken the idea of split-hand and branched out creating their own unique styles.

Here is an example of the split hand style: