Rhythm House Drums wrote:Ringing and overtones are usually caused by uneven tension in the skin.
you're bound to have unevenness in a rope-tuned djembe. some of the best players prize the overtones in their djembe. excessive ringing, on the other hand, is usually due to other factors.
True you can't get the tension perfect with rope.. but you can get perty darn close. Some overtones are nice... This fella doesn't like his, which is usually a cause of a drum that isn't tuned evenly. A lot of times the spine shrinks more when it dries causing the spine to be higher pitched than the sides... this causes bad overtones. I had a long conversation with the peeps at DrumSkull about this(those guys are extremely helpful). I've tested the theory on quite a few ringy drums... proper tuning tension fixed them all. (even ones with loose rings, or rings really low on the head).
I've heard a lot of the Ivory Coast shells with this ring... it's not because the shell rings(which I've heard people say), it's just the opposite (Iroko wood is soft and doesn't have a natural ring much at all) it's because these drums are less expensive and are usually peoples first drum, which... dont get tuned properly. I've taken a bad overtone/ring out of Iroko shell, Lenke, and Hare... I'm convinced it's all in the tuning...
Now things that can make a drum not easy to tune evenly are things such as wavy bearing edge or uneven shape to the bearing edge, an out of round shell and loose top rings. But ultimately these things cause the head to have uneven tension...so... the ringing is from uneven head tension.
I tap all the way around the head about a half inch to an inch in front of the bearing edge. Dont listen to the attack (finger or stick (lightly) hitting the drum) listen to the after thought.. the ring, the sustain. this is what you want to get correctly pitched because it is here that the overtones either make the sound or kill it. Where the pitch sounds lower.. pull a diamond or two directly under.