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Dununs Set Construction - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
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By alpavlov5
#39643
Hi,

I have some questions concerning the construction of a set of Dununs (Dundun, Sangban and Kenkeni), I already searched for quite some time on the forum (great forum, there's a lot of info and knowledge thanks!!) and some of the questions have been answered but I don’t know if they apply the same to Dununs, being that most of the topics are for the construction of Djembes.

I’ve been practicing African Rhythms for less than a year and since the beginning I felt I could try and build my own drums. Being the first time trying to make them I don’t really expect them to be perfect, just want to learn some technique by actually doing it and to start practicing the rhythms more frequently having my own drums at home (I’m sure I’m going to invest more time in the future when I make a second set).

Materials:

Dundun - Ceiba Tree - 17” diameter and 25” height
Sangban - PVC pipe - 13” diameter and 21” height
Kenkeni - Ceiba Tree - 9” diameter and 17” height

Rope: 3/16” diameter, 100m (330 ft) long. “Double-braided polyester around a strong, low-stretch core” from Rhythm Traders drum shop.

Rings: 1/4" Cold roll steel (2 rings system)

Raw cow skin from slaughterhouse

Questions

1) Any opinions on the materials the drums are made of? (ceiba tree wood and pvc pipe). I also have the opportunity to get a trunk of eucalyptus, is it good?

2) How necessary or significant is the spiral pattern on the inside of the drums including the pvc one?

3) I read it is a good idea to glue some foam on the inside of pvc drums because of the ringing sound of the smooth walls of pvc? What other options? Maybe carving the plastic leaving an irregular surface?

4) Ideal ring separation counting the cloth wrapping?

5) The dundun does not have a perfect circular shape, I did not take this into account and leave the natural outside shape of the tree (more or less like a circle - pentagon shape) and now I don’t want to adjust it making a smaller size, do you think this is a problem? Is it better if a make the rings the exact shape of the rim o just go with a circular shape?

6) I’m planning on getting raw cow skin, once I clean it can it go directly to the drum? No need to soak it in water or pre-stretching right? Can it be tune in the same day? Anything for the odor?

7) Does the age of the cow matters?

8) What part of the cow skin for which drum? Pros/Cons?

9) How to know when to stop tightening the skin?, would a drum tuning app help?

10) African symbols / patterns to try carving on the drums?

I uploaded some images of the shells, still some sanding and details to work on. You can notice the irregular shape of the Dundun.

Let me know if something is not clear. Any recommendation / opinion / critique is much appreciated, thanks!
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