Rhythm Traders Djembe Tuning Guide

Tuning an African Djembe


A well tuned djembe drum has a lot of contrast between bass and tone. A new djembe also has a minimum of "diamonds", which you'll add later. Drums go through an initial stretch and then level off. It's time to crank it up when the contrast is gone. Tuning raises the pitch of the tone (edge). The bass (center), though, is built into the drum and can't be tuned. It will, however, become more pronounced when the drum is tuned up.

Read on for the simple instructions!
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Djembe Tuning Figure A
Figure A
 
Djembe Tuning Figure B
Figure B

Here is the simplest way to tune your drum. Take the excess rope and go under 2 vertical ropes, and then back under the first (See Figure A) It should look like an S. Now, wrap the rope around a stick and pull tight (Figure B). That's it!

Repeat until you have good contrast between bass & tone. In our diagram, we're moving left, you can also do this moving right. When you finish a row, jump up and start another. You need not finish a whole row.

Be careful not to over tighten!! Enjoy!!

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