The djembe

Djembe Reskinning

Everything you need to know about djembe reskinning is detailed here. Use the quick links at the bottom to jump to a section or use the step by step route below.


Jembe skins can pop during play, while tuning the drum or all by themselves in the middle of the night with a loud crack. Horrible as any of these sound, re-skinning is a task I believe every serious jembe player should go through at least once.

I say 'go through' because it's fairly hard work. If you don't have some sort of tensioning device, there's some strenuous pulling on the ropes to do. Then there's all that weaving to thread, which can take its toll on your hands. The job might be easier with someone to help. If you have any back problems, or don't feel up to the physical task, ask a burly friend or relative to chip in.

Sira kelen sira te - "One way is no way at all" - Malinke saying

1. How a djembe is put together
2. Djembe Reskinning tools
3. Outline of the job
4. Preparation
5. Making the loops in the ring
6. Making the drum head
7. Threading the Verticals
8. Trimming and shaving the skin
9. Djembe Tuning