Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
By shorty
the scratch is about 1 cm long and goes down to the wood a bit

its an abbrasion on the top on the rim where the hands hit to make a tone

im not sure if the sound is affected

does this kind of thing effect the sound?

the other day it sounded the smae
now it is very cold and dry oput

the tonbe sounds different

not as pure maybe

more metalic or with morew overtones

is htis a result of the mar or the weather?

or maybe just my technique?
By shorty
what kind of epoxy putty should i get?

how can the sound be affected by an abrasion on the skin on the rim?

how can i get the drum re skinned so it will sound the same?

what does drum skull drums do that is so fancy? (the way it looks with the skin overlapping the rim)
By bubudi
you never posted a pic so it's difficult to give you good advice. weather can definitely explain the change in the sound. i would definitely do the electrical tape around the rim. i think it will probably be enough. epoxy is a resin and all epoxies are generally similar. they usually come in 2 parts that you mix together. the idea of epoxy is that it's flexible. super glue is brittle. your drum skin flexes and vibrates as you play it so having a brittle part will create a tension point there. for this reason normal super glue tends to come off after some play (industrial strength super glue should stay on, but is pricey). also, if you're going to put a couple of extra knots in your drum to tune it up, because super glue has no give you can end up damaging that spot on the drum more or even cause the skin to tear. do any tuning up before you superglue.

as for reskinning, i would wait until the skin pops. the skulls don't do anything special, they just have a lot of experience tightening drums and put a bit of attention to the details. there is plenty of advice on mounting a skin on a djembe including pics in the technical advice section.

note that the sound of a drum at any particular time is a combination of the drum's humidity level, the qualities of the skin, the sound dynamics between the skin and wood, the air temperature and humidity and the technique of the person playing. therefore it's not possible to keep the same sound as you wished for. a new skin will change the sound. it might take some getting used to, and you might even be thrilled with the result.

get the bag already! 8)
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By rachelnguyen
I have had a little blob of skin dust and super glue on the edge of my head for at least a year with no ill effect on anything. One day I found a little divet on the skin and my teacher fixed it for me. I didn't sand it down, so it is a little rough on my hands, but it is off to the side, so I don't usually play on it.
By shorty
Dugafola wrote:melting glue on your skin is the least of your worries if you're near a fire.

Well folks, no more damage. I just have a question about drum science and longevity.

What kind of stuff can happen to djembes and congas that can seriously affect sound quality and longevity?

Just wondering as I am master worrier. and I also like to have the answers and analyze things!
By gfarand
Looks like i'm coming in a bit late, but here are my two cents :

The best cases i have ever had are from Protection Racket. They're a small Cornish (UK) company and i have been out of touch with them for a while so i don't know where they'll be retailed now, but their cases are amazing. They're built in three layers : inside you get thick, fluffy humidity-absorbing foam, then super-dense (the densest i've seen in an instrument case) foam for shock absorbtion, all wrapped in waterproof material and sawn together with kevlar thread.

For the little story i once got caught in a storm with my favorite djembe on my back and had to walk over a half hour in the pouring rain. I was very worried about my drum, as you can imagine, but when i came home i couldn't find a single trace of humidity inside the case. Moving from gig to gig also means countless accidents and drops and i don't even worry about those any longer -that's how good the cases are. I have had those cases four years now and they almost look new.
By bubudi
i've seen those protection racket cases and they are quite good, but they are not the thickest or best designed available. dugafola was talking about the modoo bag made by kojo from the hand. get them from . this is the best i've seen. the drumskull bags are pretty sweet too. protection racket and tkl cases are both excellent budget options at around $80.
By gfarand
I don't mean to get into an argument (not at all), but my Protection Racket cases didn't cost me $80 -i wish ! -i didn't even use to get them for that wholesale ! I can only presume (can't remember, to be honest, as i dealt with quite a few suppliers) that they have several ranges.
By shorty
what kind of bad damage can happen to a djembe? (wood)

what can humidity do?

leaving a drum outside in the outside environment overnight?

humidity changes?



what does this do to the djembe?
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By Dugafola
shorty wrote:what kind of bad damage can happen to a djembe? (wood)

what can humidity do?

leaving a drum outside in the outside environment overnight?

humidity changes?



what does this do to the djembe?
humidity is no good for your skin...especially exposing the hide to rapid changes in humidity i.e. getting wet in a rain storm.

the shell itself will be more resistant to damage from humidity. i have seen drums in storage get moldy though.

just make sure to air out your bag and drum if in fact gets wet.

any bag is better than no bag. i recommend a heavy duty bag (the best you can afford) if you play a lot - dance classes, drum classes, gigs, show and tell and definitely for airline travel.

I'll have to say that the Rhythm Traders Pro Bag is a great value. I've had one since the 2nd generation has been out and have had minimal problems with it. i also have a couple different DSD bags from their different iterations. I should be getting a Moodoo pretty soon as well.
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By rachelnguyen
I leave my drums in the car overnight sometimes and haven't had a problem. My teacher does this all the time, too.

Think about how hot it gets in Mali! Heat is probably not a huge issue so much as extreme swings in temperature.

Also, it will depend on how seasoned your wood is. If it still has a lot of moisture in it, it may be more vulnerable to, say, freezing temperatures. I probably would not leave a newer drum out in the cold overnight.

The skins are sensitive to humidity and changes in temp. My friend Sam, who plays for Entrain, buys clear plastic shower caps by the gross at a beauty supply and when they have a gig in the rain he puts a shower cap on his drum head to protect it. (These are the disposable kind... like you'd get at hotels.) Doesn't affect the sound at all and keeps the water off.

When I brought my new drum back from Mali, the skin broke within a few days of getting home. It was an older skin that was very tightly tuned, went from hot dry to the extreme cold of an airplane hold in January to my heated house in the space of a day and just gave up the ghost. No issues with the wood at all, though.

I have been very pleased with the TKL bag, by the way. At first I thought it was too tight, but now I am glad my drum doesn't flop around in it. It feels very secure in there.
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By e2c
One nice thing about djembes (compared to many frame drums and other kinds of hand drums) is that there is *no* glue, anywhere. I have to make sure that all my Middle Eastern drums (and my ashiko, which is stave-constructed) are in a/c as much as possible during the summer months. This means that if I'm playing, I either go right home afterwards or else end up carting them around - not fun.

Like Rachel says, cold isn't a friend to most drums.

All the other things (humidity, etc.) have been covered by others....
By bubudi
i wouldn't be worried about the wood when leaving your drum in your car. i'd be more worried about the skin. leaving your drum in the car in the heat (when not parked under shade) or overnight in freezing temperatures is not a good idea. your car is like a greenhouse - on a 30°C day it can get hot enough to kill any bugs in your wood :lol: seriously!

lol at the shower cap in the rain idea! i'm sure it would affect the sound in some way, but it's actually quite a good idea. i'm sure it would sound much better than a synthetic skin.

a snug fitting bag is definitely the way to go.