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How to Tune a Rope Tuned Djembe

Posted by X8 DRUMS Monday, January 7, 2008 0 Comments

Watch step by step instructions for tuning a djembe.

Part 1 - Understand the Concept of Rope Tuning

Part 2 - Tuning

The drum is tightened by weaving triangles with the extra rope. The more triangles, the tighter the head becomes.

Step 1 - Uncoil the excess rope after the last triangle. You will be creating new triangles as you work around the drum.

How to Rope Tune Step 1

Step 2 - From the last triangle, working in the same direction as previous row of triangles, look at the next 2 separate vertical ropes; verticals-1 & -2. Lay the loose rope over verticals-1 & -2.

How to Rope Tune Step 2

Step 3 - Pass the loose end backwards only under vertical-2.

How to Rope Tune Step 3

Step 4 - Lay the loose rope over vertical-1 and pass the loose rope back under verticals-1 & -2. If your drum wraps right to left, as in the photos, you should be looking at a Z pattern in the loose rope. If your drum wraps left to right, you should see an S pattern.

How to Rope Tune Step 4

Step 5 - The object of this weave is to pull the vertical-1 under the vertical-2. Pull down hard on the rope. This will add a triangle to the ropes.

How to Rope Tune Step 5

Repeat this procedure moving in one direction around the drum until the head is tightened. Then tie off your loose rope and secure it around your drum.


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