The Djembe sizes normally range between 6 inches in
diameter x 12 inches length, up to 18 inches in diameter and 40 inches
in length. The density of the, hollow carved goblet shape, quality of
the goat skin and the rope determines the wide range of tones. Because
all drums are hand made, each one gives off a unique deep base note. The
primary notes are "tones" and "slap" a variety of other sounds are also
produced by advanced players.
new skin is placed over the drum head the dried skin is immersed in water until soft and
pliable. The soft skin is then placed over the top along with two steel
rings, one ring fits tightly around the drum head and the other around
the bottom of the head with vertical string crossing from top to bottom
around the rings. The rope is then
gently tightened. Once the skin is completely dried the ropes are
further tightened with a rope puller. Various patterns or weaves are
then made with the rope on the drum
African goat skins from west
Africa are most suitable for covering the playing surface of a djembe.
West Africa have the perfect climate for grazing goats, they have
tougher thicker skins that impacts greatly on the sound quality. Skins
used from other countries have poor sound and tends to break easily.