Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
By sebaT

I noticed that the top ring on my djembe is lower on one side, and i don`t know how that happened... and more important, how does that reflect on the sound, skin duration, drum/rings duration and how can i fix that problem???

Thank ya
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By Rhythm House Drums
A photo would help.

How far off is it? You say it "just happened" while heading the drum, or the drum was fine and the next minute it's off? If the latter, either the skin slipped through the rings a bit (which would be uncommon unless you were pulling diamonds) the other idea is that the skin maybe ripped along the side between the top ring and the bearing edge.

An off level ring wont really change how the drum sounds... but it might be an indication of another issue... especially if it happened without intervention. Does it sound the way it did before ??
By sebaT
Measured with your index finger, it is 2/3 on one side and 1/3 on the other, and the bottom ring is also closer to the top ring on one side, it looks like the top and bottom ring are coming closer to one another on one side, i`ll post a pic tomorrow, can`t now.

It still has its first skin, nothing changed yet, and as far as i can see it isn`t ripped anywhere. It sounds the same, there is a little difference between the left and the right hand, but i guess that has more to do with my technique.

When i tune the drum i go in circle, not skipping any verticals, can that cause this?
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By michi
It's difficult to comment without a photo.

When you tune your drum and shorten consecutive verticals, you pull more on the side where the diamonds are than on the side where you haven't flipped any verticals yet. This causes the rings to precess around the drum, with the lowest point being near the diamond you flipped last. Once you have completed a row, the rings end up being level again.

Some people try to minimize the precession by flipping every second or third pair of verticals initially and, once the row is complete, undo the weave again and flip adjacent verticals. I used to do this, but no longer bother. It's more effort than it is worth, and it adds a lot of wear to the rope, shortening its life.

Another reason for what you are seeing could be rings that are too large. With that, it can happen that you pull the crown ring off to one side when you are tuning and then gradually, the crown ring slips over the flesh ring, eventually ending up below the flesh ring on one side. If this is what's happening, you will need to have the rings re-welded to the correct size eventually.

Basically, as long as the drum sounds good and you are happy with it, just keep playing and tuning. If things go wrong eventually, you can still fix them then. In the mean time, don't worry too much. At this point, it's not possibly to fix anything without replacing the skin, so there is nothing you can do anyway, and you might as well stop worrying :)