The djembe

How to restring a djembe

If the rope on your djembe has broken or freyed significantly, you're going to need to replace it. Here's how.

What rope to use

Use new pre-stretched or low stretch nylon cord of 4mm or 5mm width. If its not pre-stretched, it will stretch when you start tightening it, and tuning will be a nightmare. You can buy decent cord at specialist shops, camping or outdoor stores.

Lengths & Widths:

Large djembe vertical rope: Approx 16 metres, 4mm or 5mm width
Loop rope (on top and bottom rings): Approx. 5 metres each, 4mm or 5mm width

Step 1:

Start by undoing the knot holding the verticals and removing the vertical rope completely.

If you've broken only the vertical rope, continue to restringing the verticals.

If you've broken the rope making loops in the top or bottom ring, continue below.

You're going to have to undo the loops, restring them and only then can you redo the verticals. Have a look at the photos below and follow the steps beneath them.

The loops on the top ring

The loops in the bottom ring


How to make the loops on the large (top) ring

Step 1: Remove the old rope completely. Starting at one end of the rope, thread it around the ring as shown.


Step 2: Thread another loop as shown.


Step 3: Tighten the knot and repeat the process, slowly working your way around the ring.

Remember to make the same number of loops in the top and bottom rings, and stick within the 22-30 limits on regular sized drums.

When you reach the other end of the rope, tie the two ends to each other.


How to make the loops on the small (bottom) ring

The loops in the small ring are a mirror image of the loops in the top ring. The process is the same, but we provided illustrations below to help.

Step 1: Remove the old rope completely. Starting at one end of the rope, thread it around the ring as shown.


Step 2: Thread another loop as shown.


Step 3: Tighten the knot and repeat the process, slowly working your way around the ring.

Remember to make the same number of loops in the top and bottom rings, and stick within the 22-30 limits on regular sized drums.

When you reach the other end of the rope, tie the two ends to each other.


You're done with the loops, now continue to restringing the verticals.