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Custom Drums

Blue Heron Drums was built on custom orders. Bill says: "You name it, we'll make it!" The combinations are infinite. Here are some examples of custom requests we've received over the years. If only we had remembered to take pictures of all of them. Call for more info, pricing, and availability. Click here to view drum options >


The Djembarabou

Shell - Style: Djembe
Shell - Wood: Iroko
Shell - Origin: Ivory Coast
Shell - Size: Standard, 24-inches
Head - Size: 13-inch diameter
Head - Type: Cow hide
Head - Hair: Unshaved
Head - Hair Color: Medium Brown
Heading Technique: 2-ring mount
Rope Color: Blue
Ring Accent Color: Purple, Green

This customer wanted a non-traditional pairing of a cowhide head on a djembe shell. Sort of a cross between a Djembe and a Bougarabou, hence the name. Blue is her favorite color.


Mini Congas (Toko's Cocos)

Shell - Wood: Coconut Palm
Shell - Origin: Nigeria
Shell - Size: 23-inches
Head - Sizes: 8.5-10.25 inch diameter
Head - Type: Cow hide, domestic
Head - Hair: Shaved
Heading Technique: 2-ring mount with rollover

These coconut palm conga shells from Nigeria appeared at the local drum shop in Ithaca, NY the same day I finished fleshing a fresh steer hide. Serendipity! We called them Toko's Cocos.


From the Butternut Tree

Shell - Style: Djembe, Djun
Shell - Wood: Butternut
Shell - Origin: Monroe County, West Virgina
Djun Shell - Size: 25-inches tall x 16-inch diameter
Djembe Shell - Size: 23.5-inches tall x 12-inch diameter
Djun Heads - Type: Cow hide, domestic
Djembe Head - Type: Goat, African import
Heading Technique: 2-ring mount with rollover

This Djun and Djembe were carved from a Butternut tree with a chainsaw by Billy Boggs. The Djun was made for Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.


Sewer Pipe Djuns

Shell: PVC
Shell Finish: None
Head: Cow hide

PVC sewer pipe (often found free in a contractor's scrap pile) resonates wonderfully. A funky paint job (see our didgeridoos) makes them look as good as they sound—and they sound really sweet. An unpainted finish (featured here) leaves you with that urban, industrial look.


Ngoma from Local Materials

Shell: Cherry & Birdseye Maple (Grown in Michigan)
Head: Cow hide

Bill Anderson playing one of his latest creations, a Ngoma drum crafted from locally harvested Cherry and Birdseye Maple hardwoods—a collaboration with Lohmann Woodcarving Company in Covington, MI. Bill is working on developing local sources for hides and drum shells to create a Keweenaw-made line of hand drums.


The Sound Garden

Shell: PVC
Head: Rubber roofing

This permanent, outdoor drum installation utilizes 15-inch, 18-inch, and 21-inch sewer pipe segments which we headed with rubber roofing scraps. Installed at the Great Blue Heron Music Festival grounds in Sherman, New York. Come play it!