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Djembefola - Djembe Forum •Solved: It was the drum (and skin) not the tuning!
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Solved: It was the drum (and skin) not the tuning!

Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:17 pm
by batadunbata
I posted a topic about not liking high tuning, based on my experience after tuning my drum up, but I realize now that it probably sounded bad because of issues with the drum and skin, not the tuning itself. Tuning up does reduce range, but from recordings, I can tell it's supposed to sound better than mine did. So what was the problem?

For starters, the skin is old. I mean ancient. And imperfect (damaged surface patches repaired with glue, and what look like cat scratches - no I'm not kidding, I got it used so who knows).

I cleaned it with orange oil, and it sounds a tiny bit better already (slightly crisper and more resonant), but it should be replaced.

Also, the bearing edge doesn't have a clean break on the inside. Feeling with my hand, I can put the tip of my finger in between the skin and the edge, so it must be rounded on the inside a little bit.

And lastly, this is a 12.5" drum, so it's not going to flex as much as a wider diameter drum when tuned up, so it won't have as much range as a 13+". But I'm sure if I fix these issues, it'll sound much better than it did, and I'll find I can adjust to the higher tuning. There's pros and cons, but even 70+ yearold djembefolas in africa tune their drums up, so I'm going to give it a try.

Re: Solved: It was the drum (and skin) not the tuning!

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:58 am
by Worcester Djembe
id take a look at the size of the sound hole too. if its too small (like less than 5"), the drum will sound choked off when tuned up to solo pitch.

hope it works out for you with what youve already done

Re: Solved: It was the drum (and skin) not the tuning!

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:13 pm
by the kid
So we like tight skins again? Tight skin and good wood are the things dreams are made of...

Re: Solved: It was the drum (and skin) not the tuning!

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:50 am
by michi
the kid wrote:Tight skin and good wood are the things dreams are made of...
Djembe wet dreams…

Michi ;)