Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
By grahamother
This is my first post, Ladies and Gents, on any forum of any kind. Sorry if it's redundant.
I've just redone my bearing edge, and began drumming on the sides of the shell and it sings at a perfect Bb. The key of the universe itself! And N America's 60 cycle electrical system. I digress.
Does anyone recommend attempting to match the new skin's tension to Bb?
Too much of a good thing?
Maybe try to tune to G, the relative minor?
Or, is pitch completely out of my control, and will it end up Bb regardless of tension?
Thanks for your thoughts.
User avatar
By drtom
Greetings GM,

Welcome aboard and sorry for the delayed response. Been really busy with work (that's a good thing).

I'm surprised no one's offered an opinion on such an interesting question. I mean REALLY interesting - my mind wants to explore in different directions simultaneously.

Let's see if I can get the ball rolling by answering one facet of your question with pretty good certainty - you do have control over the pitch of your drum.

The thing is that tuning a djembe to a particular key is not something that most people would concern themselves with. In general, a djembe is considered tuned when the voice is crisp and clear and overtones are minimal. This is a very basic but (I believe) generally accepted view.

There is more to it. For example, if you want to play lead you're probably going to want a higher pitched drum, but if you want to play accompaniment, you're probably going to want a lower pitched drum.

Thanks again for your great question!