Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
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By drtom
#39275
I'm constantly working on djembes of great variety. Occasionally, one of these really grabs me for some reason or another. Right now, I'm restoring a djembe carved very simply and with little embellishments, yet the shell is as flawlessly symmetric, graceful and beautiful as I've ever seen.

I know this is my subjective opinion, but have a look and see what you think.
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djembeShell2.jpg
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By Dugafola
#39277
i agree. and that specific senegal shape doesn't really make it's way into the country anymore unless DSD imports them.

is that piece for sale?
User avatar
By drtom
#39278
Dugafola wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:04 pm
is that piece for sale?
Sorry DF, this one is spoken for.

It's noteworthy that the diameter of the shell is greatest at about 4 inches below the bearing edge; the shell flares ever so slightly, so sizing the rings and judging how tight to begin the skinning is more critical than ever.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#39279
drtom wrote:
It's noteworthy that the diameter of the shell is greatest at about 4 inches below the bearing edge; the shell flares ever so slightly, so sizing the rings and judging how tight to begin the skinning is more critical than ever.
yea i have michi's old jina shell from mali and it's the same deal. widest part of the shell is about 1.5" below the rim. it was a PITA to skin. i think i skinned that thing 3-4 times before i was happy with how it turned out. i had to have matt re-size the rings at least once too. good luck!!
User avatar
By drtom
#39280
Trying to get it done by Xmas. This is going to be a nice gift!

The rings are snug and could bottom out before the drum is tuned. I tend to go really tight on the wet pull and start off with a really tight wrap on the flesh ring. In this particular case, I go tight to the nth degree.
skinnedDjembe.jpg
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By Dugafola
#39281
drtom wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:14 am
Trying to get it done by Xmas. This is going to be a nice gift!

The rings are snug and could bottom out before the drum is tuned. I tend to go really tight on the wet pull and start off with a really tight wrap on the flesh ring. In this particular case, I go tight to the nth degree.

skinnedDjembe.jpg
that's exactly how i would have approached it. it looks good! i may have left the rings a little higher but it'll be play in fine!
By DGuertin
#39282
Love the shape! I just picked up one from Mali that's very similar... This is a Bambara-style djembe originating in Mali. Can't complain about this one from Senegal, though!!!
Last edited by DGuertin on Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Dugafola
#39284
re: the concave shape up top...there was a discussion a long time ago about how that could influence sound projection for the worst. in theory, it makes sense to me. my jina mali shell is slightly concave, but it's one the densest pieces of hare i've ever seen and sound clarity and projection is not a problem. but for myself, i try to avoid a shell with that shape. i've seen some really exaggerated forms and it looks funny. plus i've never seen a really ancient jenbe with that shape...at least yet
User avatar
By drtom
#39285
Dugafola wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:19 pm
re: the concave shape up top...there was a discussion a long time ago about how that could influence sound projection for the worst.
That's a worthwhile discussion. `I would expect the shape and proportions to influence the voice (along with other factors). In a few days I'll weigh in on whether it's to the bad.

Actually, I've encountered similar djembes in the past and don't recall that I had poor results. I made a point of this drum because it seemed particularly well done.
User avatar
By drtom
#39286
Got it done in time for Xmas and everyone is pretty happy, including myself.
concave-djembe.jpg
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Dugafola wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:19 pm
my jina mali shell is slightly concave, but it's one the densest pieces of hare i've ever seen and sound clarity and projection is not a problem.
This wood is pretty dense as well. At 13.5" the drum weighs 23lbs, and it's not carved thick at all.
innerCarving-djembe.jpg
innerCarving-djembe.jpg (501.1 KiB) Viewed 1017 times
The inner carving mirrors the outer carving pretty closely, so this is a concave shell. This may not be the loudest djembe I've heard, but the projection is fine, as is the clarity. The base is not the most powerful I've heard, but all in all I'd say the concave shape works fine.