The wood of the Djembe.

by Shopify API December 24, 2018

The wood of the Djembe.

When knowing the characteristics of the Djembe, not only the membranes (skin) are something important, wood is undoubtedly the most important of all.

Absolutely essential and often totally underestimated is the quality of the wood tone used for the manufacture of drums.
The sound is created not only by the vibrations of the drum membrane and the associated stimulation of the air space in the drum. The entire wooden shell vibrates and reflects sound waves from its surface at the same time.

The harder the wood, the stronger the reflection. The softer, the more sound energy is absorbed. This not only affects the volume of a drum, but also all the sound quality. Each tonal wood has its own characteristics that a professional drum maker uses to create a specific sound.
Within a single species there can also be important differences, in terms of the area where the tree grew and conditions such as temperature, light, water and available nutrients. The quality also differs according to the segment of the tree trunk in which the drum was carved. The lower parts are generally heavier and darker and the higher parts are lighter.
In some woods, such as African rosewood, even very different color differences can be detected between the upper and lower areas. At the base of the tree, the wood is very dark and can be almost black. The top of the same tree can be as bright as honey, so you can hardly believe that this is the same tree.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THESE DATA?

Finally, I would like to point out that most of the wood tree segments of East Africa have distinctive zones. In the middle, there is the darkest and hardest core known as heartwood, followed by the much brighter and softer color, called sapwood.
The difference in sound is tremendous. The more hardwood you use to make a drum more complete and rich is the resulting sound. African wood from climatic zones around the equatorial belt has a decisive advantage over European woods. They have no annual rings, because there is no winter rest period for the growing tree. For this reason, most African woods have much less tendency for cracking.

So far we will leave this blog and what I have learned about this, in a next blog we will talk about the most important places in terms of wood.

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