Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
#12884
Hi guys,
I just got back from Africa and I sent back 2 sets of gorgeous Malian duns in Balafone wood. I didn't get a chance to have the carver tune them because I was in a rush to send them. One set are slightly tightened but the other set are quite loose. I guess I'll need to get the pulling stick at them and then do some knots but I'm not sure what the best method is.

Regarding pulling the verticals:
Hard to explain this but should I pull only in one direction i.e away from skin A, and then do another orund pulling the other direction i.e away from skin B?
Or should I pull each direction on each round?
After each pull I guess I should hammer down the ring.

As for knots:
I tuned up one of the kenkenis and I used the "Guinea Weave". I find though that there is nothing to hold the knots like on a djembe. Anyone got a method for locking the knots?
Also, should I do the knots in the middle, equidistant from each skn or closer to one or other side?

Cool, thanks for any input, I can't wait to get these tuned and start playing them!
Last edited by dleufer on Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By the kid
#12888
Go on the internet.. :lol:

Welcome back luf..

I don't know much about tuning duns but i would think pulling both ways would be a good idea. Very lightly and go round a few times. I'm sure you could do it by hand.

To lock the weave: Go the same way be it left to right or right to left but do it the opposite way round; as in instead of under the ropes first go over so the knot locks the other way.

Enjoy scratching the oul ceann... :mrgreen:... this technique can be confusing
By djembeweaver
#12889
Yeah I always feel it's a bit of a juggling act working with two ends at the same time!

I normally do a round on one side, then switch to the other, putting a bit more tension in each time. If I find the heads aren't decending evenly then I switch to doing both ways as I go round to get it even.

I use a guinea weave starting on one side just like a djembe. When I've put in all the tension I want I tie the end off to stop the knots slipping.

I've tried putting the weave in the middle, but get into a right mess if I then try to put another weave either side of it.

Alternatively I've seen people put in 2x2 weaves, which should ensure you don't need more than one round.

All in all, douns are a bit of a bugger to tension evenly!
By djembeweaver
#12891
the kid wrote: To lock the weave: Go the same way be it left to right or right to left but do it the opposite way round; as in instead of under the ropes first go over so the knot locks the other way.
Yeah good call. That works but is a bit more awkward to thread.
User avatar
By michi
#12904
I've always used the normal Mali weave on my dunduns. No problem with that--wrap the excess rope around the drum and tie it off to stop the knot at the end from flipping back. I weave on one side (close to one of the skins) only. The pull is even on both skins. If they don't tension evenly, it's because they stick to the rim, not because the side with the weave would pull strong than the other side. A few taps with a rubber mallet are normally enough to even things out and get both ends to the same pitch.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By Carl
#12907
I tune from both ends for aesthetics. After making it all the way around on one end, I start new diamonds on the other end (needs a second rope). This is for looks only, as Michi said, if you are hammering your rings, the tension should balance out however you end up pulling.

C
User avatar
By michi
#12911
e2c wrote:"Hammering your rings"? On sewn-on heads?
No, I have two rings at each end of my dunduns, so the skins are fitted just like for a djembe and hammering works well. With sewn skins, hammering would work less well, I suspect (but gentle taps would still help to break the friction lock and help even out the tension).

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By the kid
#12917
e2c wrote:I've rarely seen any of the better drum builders making duns with rings.
You might not have seen um but i'd say there are thousands of them... :)
User avatar
By e2c
#12920
the kid wrote:
e2c wrote:I've rarely seen any of the better drum builders making duns with rings.
You might not have seen um but i'd say there are thousands of them... :)
Maybe in Europe?

And yeah, I know that people do the rings thing here in the US, but I think a lot of African drum & dance folks here prefer the traditional technique.
User avatar
By dleufer
#12922
In Europe and Africa. Famoudou seemed to prefer using rings on duns as the duns that he was selling at the course were made to his specs and had rings. And I heard some seriously good duns over there all with rings. I guess there are advantages to both but I wouldn't go writing off duns with rings, maybe it's just "in vogue" to use "traditional techniques" and it seems that the people who invented the traditional techniques prefer the new techniques...
User avatar
By dleufer
#12923
Oh yeah, and thanks for all the helpful contributions guys, I've got 3 sets to tune up over the next while so I'm sure I'll have some info to contribute when I'm done