How Can I Learn to Play the Darbuka?

This is an article from our Darbuka Short Answers Collection. If you would like to submit a Darbuka question that you would like answered, send us a message


When learning to play Darbuka, it’s important to get the basics spot on. In reality, the basics are almost 2/3 of all theory you need to learn when playing Darbuka. Ensuring that your Doum stroke is landing in good form, for example, will be incredibly useful for you when you start learning more complex rhythms and start playing faster.


The basics can be learnt from many YouTube guides, eBooks that can be purchased from Amazon, local music lessons, and many more. A YouTube search or Google search is sure to find you a way to get a strong grounding in the Darbuka. One such course might be the Malik Instruments Darbuka Mastery Program.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, that’s where it gets interesting and the responsibility starts to fall on you to improve. You’ve got to practice, practice and practice some more. Make sure you nail the basic rhythms and then work on making those rhythms sound better, learn different ways to ornament and improve them, watch other Darbuka players play those rhythms and steal ideas from them, play with other musicians and force yourself to adapt your rhythms to different genres. All of these things will massively improve your Darbuka playing skills, and from then onwards, the sky’s the limit!


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