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  #1  
Old 10-30-2007, 02:08 AM
alec000 alec000 is offline
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Default Djembe purchase

I bought my 2nd Djembe. I just ordered it and can't wait to get it. check it out.

http://www.africandrumstore.com/Afri...1225-sw121.htm
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Djembe Purchase

That's a nice looking drum. I prefer bolt tuning myself, but that is a beautiful authentic style drum.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Djembe Purchase

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
That's a nice looking drum. I prefer bolt tuning myself, but that is a beautiful authentic style drum.
Odd, I would have expected you to prefer a rope- (or I guess free-floating) system on a hand drum as well as drumset. But hey whatever floats your boat.

Looks like a nice drum. I saw a dude paying a djembe with skill this past summer, telling him I've never had good luck with hand drums, and I played around with the drum a bit. What a cool drum. Lots of nice sounds you can make with one.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Djembe Purchase

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Originally Posted by youenjoy00myself View Post
Odd, I would have expected you to prefer a rope- (or I guess free-floating) system on a hand drum as well as drumset. But hey whatever floats your boat.

Looks like a nice drum. I saw a dude paying a djembe with skill this past summer, telling him I've never had good luck with hand drums, and I played around with the drum a bit. What a cool drum. Lots of nice sounds you can make with one.
The djembe is like the Swiss Army Knife of hand drums - very versatile. It is easy to play and get good sounds from it, but like anything else, it can be incredibly complex at the higher levels.

Meinl has had a Floatune system for congas but I wound up getting an LP djembe with lug mounts bolted to the shell. I don't like messing with ropes, but ropes allow for zero shell penetrations, which is always a good thing. I also like having even head tension around the drum and a rope system can't provide that.

I generally avoid penetrations in my shells, but even my trap set drums all have lug mounts. Now, if I bolted another 20 or 30 pounds of stuff to the djembe, that would be a compromise I'd be unwilling to make.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Djembe Purchase

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
The djembe is like the Swiss Army Knife of hand drums - very versatile. It is easy to play and get good sounds from it.
Whoa! Sorry, I gotta call you on that one.

Djembe is probably the most abused percussion instrument in the world (next to the bongos). It is not easy to play, and to say so is a real slight to folks that spend their lives with nothing but djembe. It is easy to hit it with your hands and flail around and sound like crap, but not easy to play properly.

DMC, I know you have background in djembe, and I don't bother with the bolt tune stuff because I read a reasonable defense from you in the past, but come on, versatile and easy to play are two of the last things I would expect you to say about djembe.

There are 3 or 4 sounds that you should be getting out of this drum without resorting to using sticks or anything at which point there is no more use for offering any advice. Slap, tone, bass, and maybe a muted slap should be spoken clearly. A couple of the younger generation of djembefolas are getting 2 different sounds out of their slaps, but that's at a level that I'm willing to assume noone in this forum is at or will achieve. I don't mean to sound too harsh with that statement, but seriously there is a looooooong way to go with this drum and there are people that spend their whole lives with it, so it is important to respect it to a certain degree or risk missing out on experiencing some of its true potential.

A healthy and mature respect for space and a lot of patience makes for a good start with this drum, but it can easily turn you into the percussionist from hell if abused.

There are some great learning tools on the internet now and even if you are only using this drum for contemporary music, it would be good for you to hear how it does sound when played in its original context.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Djembe Purchase

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Whoa! Sorry, I gotta call you on that one...
Did you read the rest of my post? The djembe, like any other instrument, is as complex as you wish to make it, especially in an ensemble and playing lead.

But it's hard to dispute the djembe is the most accessible of all hand drums for beginners, especially when compared to congas, dumbek and tablas. Whether someone plays it well is a separate matter and relative to their skill level. I've taught musicians who have never picked up a hand drum to play along with me and get a decent muff and open tone out of a djembe in 20 minutes and play a decent fanga. Slaps are harder, but there is a lot someone can do with just muff and tone.

I didn't mean to sound flippant and disrespect this instrument. I agree it's also the most abused percussion instrument and its accessibility leads people to think they are better on it than they really are. I've gone to enough drum circles to see that happen.
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Old 11-03-2007, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Djembe purchase

Amen Garvin! I completely agree with your response. But I have to comment on DMC 's remarks about rope tension Djembes.
Maybe you have had a bad experience at some point with rope tensioned drums I don't know, but please stop putting all rope tensioned drums in the "crap category." You always make very general statements about rope tensioned Djembes, stop clumping them together. The rope tensioned Djembe that I play and sell from the Ivory Coast are incredible.
My drum that I teach on is very high pitched and is set up for someone like Mamady Keita, or Dr. Djo Bi. The bearing edges are perfect, the rope is very tight, the sound is piercing when I play a slap or tubano. And yes the tuning is very even all the way around the drum! Maybe you need to play one of these drums, I feel you will change your mind about rope tensioned drums. It sounds like you have only had experience with rope tensioned drums that were not of high quality.
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Djembe purchase

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Originally Posted by pcmckay View Post
Amen Garvin! I completely agree with your response. But I have to comment on DMC 's remarks about rope tension Djembes.
Maybe you have had a bad experience at some point with rope tensioned drums I don't know, but please stop putting all rope tensioned drums in the "crap category." You always make very general statements about rope tensioned Djembes, stop clumping them together. The rope tensioned Djembe that I play and sell from the Ivory Coast are incredible.
My drum that I teach on is very high pitched and is set up for someone like Mamady Keita, or Dr. Djo Bi. The bearing edges are perfect, the rope is very tight, the sound is piercing when I play a slap or tubano. And yes the tuning is very even all the way around the drum! Maybe you need to play one of these drums, I feel you will change your mind about rope tensioned drums. It sounds like you have only had experience with rope tensioned drums that were not of high quality.
When in this thread did I disparage rope tuned djembes in any way? I just said I don't like fussing with ropes and I prefer to have even tension all the way around the head, such as with a bolt tuned drum. This is simple personal preference and has nothing to do with the quality of the drum.

Heck, I even said I like at least one aspect of rope tuning: The shell is not penetrated. I also like rope tuned drums because they are always solid shell. I have yet to see a bolt tuned djembe this is not made of staves or fiberglass. I have never seen a fiberglass or stave djembe that is rope tuned. I also think the rope pattern looks better than the lugs and bolts, especially when it has been woven through a lot. If you want an instrument made in the traditional way and with traditional look and sound, rope tuning is the only way to go.

I have played high-quality rope djembes and they sound great. I just like the ability to tighten or loosen the drum quickly to compensate for weather or preference and I like the convenience of a wrench. How does that put down rope tuning?
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Djembe purchase

When you said that you like a bolt drum because you like to have even tension around the head that a rope tension drum can't provide. That is a false statement, and you are suggesting that rope tension is inferior. Again I don't know what rope tensioned drums you have experience with, but that is not my experience at all. The Djembes that I play and sell are of superior quality or I would not stand by them. It was a very general statement suggesting that all rope tensioned Djembes are not evenly tuned, or of lesser quality then factory made Djembes.
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Djembe purchase

I feel like we've gone through this exact same argument before on another thread. I also feel like it got resolved already. DMC knows what he likes and I don't feel like he's making flagrant or inflammatory statements. I think the three of us seem to be the "djembe enforcers" on this forum anyway. DMC has his reasons for like the bolt drums, just like we have our reasons for rope tuned. I enjoy building djembes so I'll always have a rope tuned drum. Heck, even my congas are gonna be rope tuned!
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Djembe purchase

It was just the comment that rope tensioned Djembes are not evenly tuned I felt was a very general statement. I admit that there are some poor quality Djembes out there, but it's not fair to say that all are that way. A high quality Djembe put together by someone who is a craftsman will have very even tension. If you know what you are doing a rope tensioned Djembe will be evenly tuned as well as a bolt Djembe. Therefore a traditional Djembe can have even tension. For those of us that make and sell high quality Djembes it's not fair for someone to put false information out there. I understand personal preference, and if DMC prefers a bolt tensioned Djembe then more power to him.
Anyway if you want to see awesome Djembe playing check out you tube and type in Mecca Bodega. The gentlemen playing the Djembe is Dr. Djobi whom I had the honor of jamming with this summer. He is using the same Djembes that I have, enjoy!
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: Djembe purchase

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Originally Posted by pcmckay View Post
It was a very general statement suggesting that all rope tensioned Djembes are not evenly tuned, or of lesser quality then factory made Djembes.
Well, I didn't mean to suggest that rope-tuned djembes aren't evenly tuned. I suggested the tension around the head might not be uniform, which is a different thing altogether than the tuning. I've tuned rope djembes and you do one knot at a time, working your way around the drum (maybe there is another system out there I don't know about). It's not like a mechanical lug or rope system with sliding tensioners on the pairs of ropes (like on very old marching drums), which allow you to tension one side and then the other.

Really, it doesn't matter anyway if the tension is even or not all the way around the head. Rope tuning is a much different system than mechanical with its own pecularities.
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