Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
#38115
Hi,
My friend has an overcranked djembe (no bass note) and I wonder how to help him loosen the verts?

The verts are cranked (no diamonds) and I'm not sure how to loosen them all the way around evenly?

I don't want to mess up his drum, so I need to know the proper technique. I can't risk making a mistake like I would with my own drum.

Any tips would be welcome, thanks.

Also, what tool would be best?
#38119
Thanks, that's what I was afraid of.
I don't think he's going to "play it in". He doesn't play much. I think that is because there's no bass, so he doesn't get to really experience the djembe properly, it's only tones.
He wants to sell his djembe, but I thought if I fix it, he might give it another chance.

Maybe it would be best to loosen them all, and add diamonds?
He might be nervous about this, because he wants to sell it, but it's not really playable like this anyway, so I doubt it will sell.
#38120
All of these have risks but the tapping method can work and is not too risky

First method is tap up the rings.

What you can do is put the drum upside down on a carpet. Get a dowel and a mallet. Put the dowel on the space underneath of the rings between the ropes and tap each space around the drum. The drum will go down in tune. You could put some rubber on the dowel or sand it smooth if worried about damaging the skin. You do a little at each point and keep going around.

Second method

If you want to create some slack in the ropes, you can put diamonds into it and then take them out. If it's extremely tight then not much will happen but it may give you a bit of rope to play with. Then you can open the knot and play around with the tuning. You could do this first actually and then go to the tapping method.

Third way
I worked the odd drum where a rope broke or it was too uneven and had to untie and retune . Sometimes if you pull the ropes too much at the start you need to go back and loosen them or the ring gets caught at a point on the shell.
#38125
I have found it much harder to properly tune down a djembe than to tune it up, but I've done it.

People tie off the ends differently, so I'll omit those precise details, and assume your understanding.

Release or sever the beginning of the rope and reattach it two knots over. Before you release the second knot, though, replace the beginning of the rope with the end of the rope on the first knot and pull tight so as to have only one free knot. You now have some rope to work with. Now you just proceed to tune the djembe as you would any other djembe on the last go around, only you apply a bit less tension than was previously present. As you progress, you should be loosing slack.

Mr. kid's suggestion to add and remove diamonds is a much easier solution, but risky - that skin might well be near it's breaking point.
#38139
Thanks to both of you. I'll offer to give it a shot.

What about just wetting or dampening the skin so it stretches?

The Kid:
Tapping sounds safe enough and simple, so worth trying first. I can't see how it would work since the rope doesn't seem to have any stretch left, but it won't endanger the skin.

DrTom:
The retying idea sounds like it should work. So basically you set a new tie point, allowing you to feed it a set amount of slack, and slowly work it all the way around? (using the bar and vice grip method to clamp and pry the verts outward?)
#38142
What about just wetting or dampening the skin so it stretches?
I'd be very cautious with that. From your description, that skin is near breaking point already. If you wet it, it'll weaken, which may well take it over the edge.

Really, rather than fiddling with it, I'd just wait. It'll come down by itself over time.

Michi.
#38150
Yikes, ok scratch that idea then. I suspected it couldn't be that easy :) Thanks for the warning!

If it were my drum, I'd try to play it in as you suggested, that sounds like the most fun method, but he's had it quite a while and hasn't played it much. I hoped to help him to experience how great it can sound, so he doesn't sell it.
#38165
batadunbata wrote:DrTom:
The retying idea sounds like it should work. So basically you set a new tie point, allowing you to feed it a set amount of slack, and slowly work it all the way around? (using the bar and vice grip method to clamp and pry the verts outward?)
Yes.

If the tapping method works, I imagine it'll be very temporary.