Perfect tuning: how to tune and adjust my djembe

by Shopify API March 19th, 2018

tune djembe

You have a djembé new Or have you not worried about how it sounds for a long time? Here we have the definitive guide so that your djembe has a proper tuning to sound as it should sound, either traditional or modernwith patch synthetic or naturall.

It is natural that when we buy a new instrument, this will be adjusted as necessary to keep your patch, strings, keys, etc. Since we know when it will sell. So a new instrument must be constantly tuned since we acquired it. In the case of the djembé it is somewhat complicated, because the traditional one (the one that is tuned with a rope) must be dedicated about two or three hours depending on the type of knot we want to make and how loose the patch is.

Traditional djembe

To start tuning we have to consider the following, we will need a small wooden stick which we will use to pull the rope or thick gloves so as not to hurt our hands. We will also need a lot of free time, like some two hours.

Our djembé will already be knotted in a certain way from the patch to the lower ring, as the first step we must find the main knot of the rope.

djembe knot

We are going to take the rope that is to the right of the knot and we will pull everything we can with our hands, when we feel that the rope has been traversed a little, we will take the next one to the right and pull again with the forces of our hands. So until we reach the main knot, if everything goes well we will notice that the rope has been traveled excessively.

rope rope djembe pullstretchpull djembe rope

In the end we will have to travel the rope and we will make a knot again in the main rope. It is important to tightly tighten the strings from the beginning. Once we have our new knot made we will start with the braid that will tighten our patch even harder.

In this step we can put the djembe lying down and sit on its tail. The traditional djembe is done for that.

sit on the djembe

We will take the first two strings that are on the right side of our knot and we will pass the rope below these.

main knot

Now we will take the rope and the we will pass through these two ropes, above the right rope and below the left rope.

djembe knot

Now we will pull hard, leaning on our gloves or our wooden stick to or hurt ourselves. This knot will make our vertical ropes intertwine pressing down the patch.

Stretch djembe rope

Once the first knot is tightened our rope will be ready to repeat the operation, Take the next two and pass the rope under them.

new knot

Go back in the middle of these two and pull the rope hard. We repeat this operation until we reach the main node again.

stretchnew knot

At this point we will have to climb our last knot one level and we will begin to tension again with the same technique but since our ropes are now braided we will skip one as follows.

We will pass the rope below the first two braided ropeswe will pass above the third to the right and we will pass under the fourth string on the right.

tie knot

Seeing the image above we will see four vertical strings, we will return our tip through the middle of the fourth and second strings, pulling the rope between the first and second strings.

cross ropes

Now we pull hard and we can start again our operation of two strings below and return in the middle of these two. We will see how a handmade braid is made and at the same time we can hit the djembe patch to hear how its sound changes. It is advisable to tighten it well between 2 and 3 tracing turns, from here we will look for the sound we want to obtain.

handmade braid

Modern djembe

For this djembé we will need about 20 minutes since these are tuned with a key. We will use the same technique as for a modern drum.

This is really simple.:

1.- Let's loosen the patch completely until the screws and the ring are loose, they must remain in place but completely loose.

2.- now we will tighten the nuts with our only with the strength of our fingers, we make sure to go through the same screws several times until none can be tightened anymore.

3.- Now we will use the key and tighten one of the screws turning two whole turns.

4.- We will follow the following scheme to tighten each screw with the wrench two turns.

guide to tighten a patch

5.- From now on we will press with half turns until you find the ideal sound for us. It is important to follow the sequence of how we will tighten the screws so that our patch does not leave the center or tense more than one side than the other and eventually break.

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