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Dueling Doumbeks  by Ted Mabbatt

If you are into doumbkes, darbukkas, derbekkis, dumbeks, tablas, sumbatis, dohollas or any of these goblet shaped drums, then YouTube is the place for you!

In my quest to see these drums in the hands of experts, I have found many awesome performances. One of my favorite players is the world famous Issam Houshan. I have had the pleasure of establishing a good business relationship with him, as well as friendship. Issam was here in San Diego for a workshop and performance. I attended both. Issam showed us some great techniques. His skills are unmatched. He is also a genuinely nice person. Issam has been playing the tabla, as he likes to refer to it, since he was nine years old. He is from Syria originally. Issam toured with Sting on the Desert Rose tour. He currently plays the doumbek with the famous Bellydance Allstars. They are hitting the road again this September for another world tour. If they are in a town near you, I would definitely recommend that you go see them. Issam is amazing on the doumbek, and the dancers are second to none.

The doumbek goes by many names, depending on what part of the world you are from. In some countries it is referred to as the darbukka, derbekki, tabla, dumbek, and so on. These are all different names for the same drum, which is goblet shaped. Traditionally, the doumbek is fitted with a fish skin for the head, but due to it being greatly affected by the moisture in the air, many doumbek players now use synthetic heads. The Remo Skyndeep head has become the preferred synthetic head among most players. It is the closeset thing you will find to a real fish skin in a synthetic head. It looks, sounds and feels like the real thing.
So if you are interested in this type of drum, visit YouTube and put any of the many names for this amazing drum in the search field. There are also great videos of dueling doumbeks. A good starting place is my YouTube channel,

Learn more about doumbeks and purchase fine ones at:

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