Drum Care & Maintenance


How do I look after my drum?

Here’s a few considerations as the new owner of an African Djembe Drum…

Drum Tuning

When our drums leave Afrobeat, they will only require one or 2 knots occasionally and ONLY as the skin stretches. The older the skin, the fewer knots needed. This is not normally something you need to do on receipt of your purchase as we have ensured that your drum leaves us tuned ready for you to play! Please respect your drum and learn how to tune it correctly.

Over-tuning is one of the most common causes of skin breakage. Skins are naturally elastic and need to be slowly played in.

Here’s one of the basic tuning techniques – known as the Mail Weave

Hands Only!

Never use a stick to play your djembe and remove your rings before playing ~ a common cause for skin breakage (not covered by our drum skin warranty!)

Drum Storage

Pay due respect to where and how you store your drums.

African Drums are made from natural materials (wood, goat skin, rope) that are affected by their environment.

Avoid harsh dry, humid and damp conditions, direct sunlight and places without ventilation (such as a car boot).

Best stored with a drum hat or drum bag.

Think ‘climate control’ ….

Leave your African drum in direct heat, close to a heater in winter, or stored in a hot car and your drum skin will literally get so taught it can explode!

Leave your African drum in a wet, humid, or damp environment, and it will get soggy, mouldy or out of tune.

We like to keep our drums stored in a cool temperate space, topped with a drum hat or stored in a drum bag for temperature control.

Drum Transport

Position your African Drum (s) in such a way that they won’t roll around and collapse inside your vehicle, AND won’t come crashing into the back of your head or through the front windscreen on impact, or fly through the back window as you take off at the traffic lights!

Your safety and the safety of your drums is a big consideration when transporting your drums in your vehicle.

You can secure your drums from moving around by covering them with a blanket or positioning other things around to anchor it in place.

If it’s hot inside your vehicle or the sun’s heat is streaming in, you can cover your drum(s) with silver solar car window shields (alternatively stick them up on your windows).

I didn’t buy my drum in Australia.

If your precious African souvenir has been irradiated or fumigated by Australian customs, your can expect the rope and material wrapped around your metal rings to disintegrate before your very eyes in next to no time!

Your drum skin may take on a thin paper-like texture, and the sound quality and projection dims.

Sadly, irradiation shortens the life of your djembe.

You may want to consider a total overhaul.

Need a djembe reskin?

Want your drum to sound great and last the test of time and playing hours?

Ask us about where you can get your precious djembe re-skinned, rings re-sized, new rope, and playing edges refined.

We can recommend some of our drum making friends!