Monk Drums

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Music, rhythm and poetry blended.

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Rhythm comes from the creativity that sustains us.

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A drum of second chances.
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vibration of contrasting elements

Drums with a Soul

Monk Drums is based in Chaparral, New Mexico, one of the poorest areas of the country. Our goal is to create good creative jobs for people in need by building the best hand-made drums in the country. These drums have been prototyped and designed over the last seven years by the Monk Drum team and many world class drummers, including Eric Boseman who has played with Whitney Houston, Cheryl Crow, Brian McKnight and many others.

We believe every drum is unique, just like the people who build and play them.  We use our drums to serve the marginalized and help provide jobs in our economically depressed area, all while creating friendships, compassionate communities, and beautiful instruments.

The goal of “Monk” drums is to provide “work worth doing” in the community, that can provide a “fair wage” for developing craftspeople and an easy entry for people in need of a second chance at life. Over the years we’ve had many people join us for a few days, weeks or months as they transition from a rough-patch in life to their next stage in life. Having an opportunity to work in a safe environment where they can earn a fair wage and mentor under good role models is one of our favorite offerings to the community.

Monk drums really are great drums. We offer a free lifetime repair or replacement guarantee on all of our drums. We want our customers to be inspired with their new drum, not only with the sound and look, but with the stories from individuals who have been a part of that drum’s story. These drums are more than just pieces of wood shaped into an instrument. They represent the lives of those who have been given a second chance.

Contact us directly and leave an everlasting handprint on your next drum investment. or give our sales team a call at 575-567-3067 or our head drum crafter at 915.204.2309.


What Musicians Say

"We especially love our relationship with you and the integrity that drives your business to serve customer needs including very fair pricing, repairs and warrantees, and total satisfaction."

George & Beverly Sisemore - Co-Pastors more...

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April 11, 2015

Monk Drums Sample Session

featuring Art Avila Jr., Eric Boseman and Jacob Neria

How is a Monk Drum Different and How to Get One?

We sell many drums, all custom made, but its an easy process to pick the ones you want. All our drums come with the Monk Double Sound Chamber, directing your sound forward to your audience instead of down to the ground or the back of the room. Our Monk Double Sound Chamber has been refined this past decade by our craftsmen in partnership with professional hand percussionists to amplify, enhance, and direct your sound at high volume with low hand fatigue. Our play surfaces maximize tone range so it feels like you’ve got a whole kit in just one drum, depending on where you strike the surface. Once you play a Monk, you’ll immediately hear and feel the difference. We guarantee them for life because we want you to love them that long.

Step 1: Pick your Drum Style (Here are the choices)

Monk Drum – this free standing cajon with a 10″ playing surface is the most popular but it also comes in other sizes for different sounds. It stands in front of you on the ground while you sit on a chair or second cajon, no stand needed. You don’t need to balance it on your feet since the sound hole is in the front not facing down. The Monk Drum is crafted with a double sound chamber directed forward so it amplifies, refines and directs the sound to your audience instead of the floor. This results in much less hand fatigue to get performance volume, crisp cracks and thump’n bass. If you want to stand up while playing, we have stands or custom tall drums that you can stand in front of. We have a 12″ version with a larger playing surface with a deeper, heavier bass sound. We also have a higher toned 9″ playing surface that complements the 10″ and 12″ if you are playing them as a set. All are at the starting price of $150. We can also add a snare if desired. (+$25)

Bass Monk -We nicknamed this traditional sit-on cajon our “Bass Canon”, you’ll get more thump’n bass than you can handle. This is perfect to sit on, like a traditional cajon, but the Monk double chamber directs the sound to your audience instead of the back of the room. This results in crisper, better sound and much less hand fatigue to get the volume you desire. We have two types. Traditional with one playing surface ($250) and our new model with 3 playing surfaces: high, bass, and snare surface.($300)

Monk Bongos – these little guys are ultra portable and sit on your lap. The hole is in the front so you don’t have to balance them to keep the sound hole clear. Effortless play and broad range of tone across the play surface for portable percussion on the go. ($75)


Step 2: Pick your customizations (Choices will show up after picking a style, so start on step 1.)

After picking the drum style, you can then choose the type of finish and customizations you’d like. Customization examples are below.

Click here if you’d like to browse through some example custom builds and finishes in our gallery.

Custom Build – Go with one of our standard builds, or if you have a special build idea, run it by us. We can make the drums have a tall, built in base, so they can be played standing up, or a customized soundhole like a celtic cross, or inlaid wood. Let your imagination run wild and talk with our craftsman to nail down the practicalities of it. ($50)

Custom Finish – Go with our basic natural wood Monk Drum finish, or if you’d like your drum to be even more unique we have some very talented local artists to put a custom finish on your drum. We’re very careful to maintain the playability and sound, so feel free to make your drum look amazing and unique. Check out our gallery of dozens of drums with custom finishes if you’d like some ideas of what we’ve done in the past. ($50)

Monk Drum with a Snare – Some musicians love the Monk Drum with a snare and some don’t. Let us know if you are the snare type. ($25)

Playing Surfaces – Go with our traditional 1 surface Bass Cannon ($250), or our newer 3 surface build ($300). The 3 surface model has a high, snare, and bass surface to play.(This choice is only necessary on the Bass Monk.)

Barry Juice – Our friend Barry Martin has handcrafted guitars for the last 40 years and is world renowned for being at the top of his profession. He has a special patented lacquer that he uses on his guitars to tighten the sound, and when we put it on the inside of our Monk Drums, they sound even more tight and precise, especially for studio recording sessions where every little incremental improvement counts. Its probably not needed for normal play, but if you record in a studio, you might want to pick up this pro-grade enhancement when we build your drum. ($25)(Visit Barry at “Frets & Necks” here.)