Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
First of all, I'm sorry if this has been discussed. I'm sure it has, but I couldn't land on the right keywords in my search to pull up a relevant thread.

I am new to this forum, and to djembes. I just bought my first. I also live in Bakersfield, CA (temporarily, thank goodness :) ). It is very hot here; it regularly gets over 100F, and the average for August between 1981 and 2010 was 95.8. I don't use any sort of climate control in my apartment while I'm at work (and on my days off, I am not home during the day -- it's too miserable!).

I'm wondering if this is an ok environment to store a djembe with a taut skin in? Let's assume it gets over 100 in my apartment for a decent chunk of the day. I've read that they can pop due to heat, and de-tuning the drum after every use sounds like something I don't want to have to do... Should I store the drum at an air conditioned location until the extreme summer heat passes? (Of course, this would severely cut into my practice time, and I'm just getting acquainted with this instrument!).

Thanks a lot for your help, I hope to learn a lot from this forum!

PS This seems less important, but when the djembe was delivered and I unpacked it, I noticed there was a wet glue-like substance running down the inside of the shell. This is the djembe I purchased: ... cle_djembe

Again, extreme heat while it sat outside. As long as this isn't something that affects the functionality or durability of the drum I don't care, but any idea what this gunk might've been? Something used to treat the wood? From what I understand, no adhesive should be used in the construction of my djembe. Thanks again!
It's not ideal to have a djembe in the heat. But, seeing that there isn't a lot you can do about the weather, you'll just have to put up with it :)

Don't de-tune the drum; it'll just cause the skin to break sooner.

I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it. Your skin may break a bit sooner than it would otherwise. That's just how it is. If you want to extend the skin life, don't tune the drum so it's at screaming pitch: less tension on the skin means it'll last longer.

The liquid you saw was probably excess shea butter, coconut oil, or whatever else the drum might have been treated with that is sweating out of the wood in the heat. Just wipe off the excess and don't worry about it otherwise.


In my teens, I pitched watermelons in Bakersfield. I remember people wringing the sweat from their shirts every few minutes. It was HOT! :twisted:

I mostly agree with Michi. I would just add that you've purchased a "tourist djembe" that's not likely to be particularly tight, if at all. Still, hot and arid conditions will definitely cause skins to shrink, so you need to keep an eye on yours.

Store your drum low to the ground, because heat rises, and keep it away from windows, because glass magnifies the sun's rays. Do not leave your drum in the car with the windows closed for extended periods. Take similar common sense precautions and your drum should be OK, to the best of its ability.