Djembe Tuning

When it comes to djembe tuning there are two things to consider...when to tune and how to tune.

When to tune a djembe:

Djembes, like other hand drums, will lose their initial tones over time. How quickly this happens depends on a number of things including the weather where you live, construction of the djembe, and whether the djembe head is goat skin or synthetic.

The best way to know whether your djembe needs a tune-up is by simply listening to the tones when you play the djembe. If you are no longer able to achieve a wide variety of tones and the slap tone is no longer crisp then it might be time to tune your djembe.

Another way to test whether your djembe needs tuning is to push down in the center of the djembe with your thumb to determine how tight or loose the tension is on the djembe head. With rope-tuned djembes you can also check to see if the vertical ropes are loose. For a properly tuned djembe the vertical ropes should be fairly stiff.

Now that you know when to tune your djembe let's look at how to tune your djembe...

How to tune a djembe:

If you have a key-tuned djembe this is where you sit back and relax because to tune your djembe you simply use the tool that came with your djembe to tighten the lugs.

If you have a rope-tuned djembe tuning may seem overwhelming. Do not fret! Watch these two videos on how to tune rope-tuned djembes and you will be a pro in no time!