The djembe

Djembe Reskinning


For reskinning a large djembe you will need:

  • The existing djembe wood shell
  • The existing metal rings
  • 3 lengths of rope of good condition (if your rope needs replacing):
    1 X 16m
    2 X 4m
    of pre-stretched nylon cord, 4-5mm diameter
  • Goat or synthetic replacement skin. Check the skin against the light for imperfections. A good skin should not shed hair excessively. Choose thicker skins (>1mm) for large drums over 35cm diameter. Thinner skins (less than 1mm) are best for higher-pitched or smaller rims of 30cms or less. Thinner skins seem to be easier for small hands and beginners or intermediate drummers. Thicker skins are more difficult to play and would suit more advanced players.
  • A 3m strip of cotton cloth about 5cm wide or 3m of rubber tennis racket grip for adding grip to the rings.

Plus the following:

  • Large bucket
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Rasp/File (Optional)
  • String
  • Matches or lighter
  • Sharp knife
  • Scissors or electric hair cutter or for shaving the skin
  • Razor blade
  • A thick wooden stick
  • Ordinary candle wax
  • Felt-tip pen
  • Heavy, medium and light sandpaper
  • Linseed Oil or Shea Butter (Optional)

A cleat clamp is a device that can be used to take up the tension on the verticals. It can make the job a lot easier, replacing the short stick.

Djembe tuning tool - A cleat puller

Next we look at the time needed in: Outline of djembe reskinning