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Fixing a hole in a Djembe (Qs Nathan Grajek)

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-----Original Message-----
From: Nathan Grajek
Sent: Saturday, 10 November 2007 11:53 AM
Subject: Hole in Djembe
Hello. Not sure if you remember me or not, but I used to bug you with questions concerning percussion instruments a few years ago. Well, I stopped playing in that band a while back, but I recently started playing in my church's praise band, and a friend of mine has a problem. His Djembe has a tear on one side going in towards the centre of the drum. He was thinking about putting something one it to maybe keep it form growing, and hopefully improving the sound some. I told him I'd try asking you about, see what you think.
The drum is hand-made, and the head is real animal skin and everything, I have no experience with this.

Thanks a lot ~ Nathan G.

Hi Nathan - yes I remember you… as I recall it was something about windchimes
Anyway - to the current problem….
I'm afraid with this kind of thing there's not a lot you can really do which will solve your problem - your friend will just have to bite the bullet as they say, and get the skin replaced. Take it to one of the bigger drum specialist retail shops, and they should be able to help you. You can try a bit of gaffa tape - not much else will stick well enough to be of use. The gaffa is more likely to make the tone more tubby and destroy the sharpness of the sound, but it may help a little just delaying the time when the skin rips to the point where it is unusable. If the tear is really small, and right at the edge, then you might be able to get away for quite some time with a small piece of elastoplast/sports tape to hold it together. I would recommend setting the drum up so the tear is opposite the drummer, that way there will be the least physical contact.

Good luck!
Jim McCarthy

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answers by Jim MCCarthy - 01/12/2005

For more help on instrument building you can email Jim.

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