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The Kanjira is a traditional frame drum from southern India that is played with bending-pitch and split hand techniques. Amazing sounds and complex rhythms are possible from this rich little drum.
MEINL Frame Drum Kanjira FD7KA features: with a set of 3 jingles color: African Brown #AB !!! 3 years Music Store warranty !!!
!!! 30 days Money-back guarantee !!!
I have a real Indian Kanjira which requires wetting the inside of the drumhead in order to achieve the lower tone thats appropriate for the instrument. This process is difficult because over-wetting the head can cause it to go too low and become "flubby"...you then have to wait for the skin to dry a bit before it becomes playable again. And the skin will dry as you play meaning it will start rising in pitch after a short while, thus needing re-wetting. Its a pain to keep the thing in tune.
I therefore purchased the Meinl Kanjira which has tuning screws and doesnt need wetting. I was hoping that this would save me the trouble of maintaining the tuning while practicing.
Unfortunately, the Meinl Kanjira is a poor substitute for the real thing. I guess it shouldnt come as too much of a surprise since mass-produced instruments like this often dont compare to the hand-crafted kind. There are many deficiencies which I will describe here:
The main problem I find is that, compared to a normal kanjira, the thin frame of the Meinl Kanjira makes it difficult to hold steady in the hand...theres not a lot of wood to grip.
Secondly, as a side-effect of the thin frame, the drum has very little mass making it hard to hold it still while playing.
This has a third side-effect in that the "jingle" isnt very sharp because the lightweight drum is flapping about instead of being resilient against the hits.
The pitch bend range is not as wide as Im used to (possibly because the thin frame doesnt provide a lot of structure to bend the head against) and the overall sound just isnt exciting or inspiring.
All these negatives definitely outweigh the only positive, which is that it does maintain its pitch. The key which is held on via velcro is a great touch, but it doesnt matter if the instrument doesnt sound good and isnt fun to play.
I wish I could compare this to the Remo Kanjiras for additional reference, but I havent had a chance to play them yet.
My recommendation is therefore to get a "real" kanjira (which actually costs less on Amazon than this does) and deal with having to keep the head lightly moistened. The playing experience and sound is much better.
Every month we are giving away a shopping voucher among all submitted reviewers worth 500 EURO!
Congratulations to the winner of April: Dominique Huart, Wavre (BE)
The winner from the previous month (March): Roland Gutschick, Neustetten (DE)
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