Ideal amount of loops

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Ideal amount of loops

Postby Paul » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:42 pm

Hi,

I'm doing an upgrade on a big old senegalese djembe. It had all that varnish and black paint that they put on them for god knows what reason, the dimba has come up really nice with some boiled linseed oil. Anyway, what would you recommend for a 13.5 inch drum, loop wise. Do you think the amount of loops effects tuning?. Personally i have 40 loops on my solo drum. Im aiming for something that will not be as high tuned, to work on my Drissa kone rhythms.

Cheers

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Re: Ideal amount of loops

Postby michi » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:20 am

Personally, I think that 40 is excessive. One problem is that, unless you have a really large bottom ring, it can become impossible to fit the knots. You can use half hitches instead, but it doesn't look as nice.

The other problem is that, the more loops you have the longer the rope needs to be, and that means that there is more stretch. Especially for the first skin with new rope, that usually means you run out of room to weave and have to undo all the weave at some point and re-tighten the verticals. (For the second and later skins, that's not an issue because, after the first skin, the rope won't stretch any further.)

I generally go with 32 knots for pretty much any "normal"-size drums. If I have something truly huge, it might do 36. I never done more than that.

Cheers,

Michi.
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Re: Ideal amount of loops

Postby boromir76 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:13 am

40 knots is way to excessive for average sized goat skin djembe, based on my experiences. Even if it is solo pitch tuned djembe, I usually don't make more than 28 knots and it works OK in every way. I would put some more knots when putting on thick cow skin, which is much harder to pull, but not more than 32.
Only advantage with large number of knots (40) as I see it, is that the skin is less likely to slip. But this can be avodied also with far less knots on the ring: proper ring size, making double cow hitches on rings, twisting & rolling excessive skin technique, etc.
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Re: Ideal amount of loops

Postby drtom » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:59 am

While more knots has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Most would agree that a certain point the disadvantages prevail. The disagreement is at what point.

We've had this discussion before and I've mentioned the law of diminishing returns. If you get to forty knots the law has kicked in.

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Re: Ideal amount of loops

Postby Worcester Djembe » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:30 pm

I use my thumb as a spacer on top rings and let that dictate the number of loops as opposed to setting out to complete a pre-determined amount of hitches. Typically ends up being in neighborhood of 32-34 or so.
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Re: Ideal amount of loops

Postby drtom » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:03 am

Worcester Djembe wrote:I use my thumb as a spacer on top rings and let that dictate the number of loops as opposed to setting out to complete a pre-determined amount of hitches.


Of course, you might typically skin 9" djembes, but have a very narrow thumb. In which case many of us might think that's way too many hitches. :giggle:

But wait, maybe you're using the LENGTH of your thumb. In which case you have a REALLY SHORT thumb! :rofl:

But seriously WD, you have addressed the crux of the matter: there is an optimum distance between hitches. For you that distance is gauged by your thumb.

My guess is you only skin djembes that fall between a certain size range, other wise your formula is certainly flawed. The "optimum distance" must be adjustable and take into account variations in circumference. Don't you agree?
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Re: Ideal amount of loops

Postby Worcester Djembe » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:58 am

Doc- yes most drums i work on run similar sizes, 12-14" or so. To your point yes i would agree that theirs a degree of adjustment in the optimum spacing based on drum size tho for me i dont adjust too much
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