The djembe

When your drum is the right way up, fold the excess skin back over the sides. Finally it's starting to look like a drum!

Trimming The Edge

There are two options to choose from when deciding what to do with the excess skin.

Option 1:

The excess skin can be folded out over the rings and trimmed before being allowed to dry, as shown. Use a length of rope to hold the skin down over the rings while it dries.

Option 2:

Cut the excess skin off with a pair of scissors. Cut quite close to the rings so as to leave the rings visible, but not too close so the skin slips out. You should have about half and inch of skin sticking out (1 or 2cm).

Removing The Hair

I met a guy who used his wife's hair dilapidating cream to remove the hair from the face of the drum. I haven't tried myself but he said it was simple and worked well! Here's the traditional method though:

The most common is to shave the hair on the drum face with a razor blade. This can be slow and can leave your drum skin with a few nasty nicks if you're not extremely careful. It is also easier if the drum is tight and the skin is dry.

You can start off by thinning the hair a little with scissors or heavy duty electric shears. Then proceed to the shaving, shown below.

1. Hold the razorblade between your thumb and forefingers and use a little bit of pressure to bend it slightly.
2. Hold the razorblade at a 90 degree angle to the skin and shave with the grain of the hair.

Be careful! When you're mostly done use a light, smooth sandpaper to remove the last stubble and dirt from the skin. Work carefully and lightly to remove all hair on the face of the drum and lightly sand a border around the rim, until the whole face and edges are smooth and clean. Take your time to remove all dirt and hair without scratching the skin.

Looks great, hey? Well done, have a break, that a large part done.

There's still the tough job of djembe tuning ahead though, so when you're ready, continue to Djembe Tuning.