ANDY’S ANSWERS

My djembe drum has a split head, can you tell me where I can get it repaired or indeed if it's possible to do it myself?

 

 

- Chris Little, London

 

Chris,

To get someone to reskin a djembe drum can be quite expensive. Prices start at £50 plus the cost of the skin. I'd recommend you either buy a new djembe drum - depending on the size of it - or have a go yourself. I've got instructions on my site on what you need to do. It is time consuming and a fiddly process doing it for the first time but rewarding when done properly!

 

Have a look at my reskinning page for a full explanation.

Is the best drums on your site the pro ones, if so which ones are the VERY best? Thanks a lot.

 

 

- Ashley, Sittingbourne, Kent.

Hi Ashley, yes the best ones are the pro range. It's difficult to say which country produces the very best. I always think Senegal edges it but that is just personal preference. They are all hard wood with a thicker goat skin that the drums from Ghana so they do sound the same high standard!

What is the best way to learn the djembe drum? My friend told me listen a CD of the music but I found this too difficult. Would you recommend anything?

- Lisa Francis, Co.Durham
Dear Lisa,
 
There's all sorts of ways to learn. If a CD wasn't working out maybe it was too complex too soon. Why not try and play along to a simple rhythm that you know to build up your confidence. I'd certainly recommend an instructional DVD - I'll email you my recommendation - If there's one in your area you can join a drum circle or you can find a drum teacher. It's important to get the hand techniques of slap, tone and bass right at the beginning as these hand positions make the best sounds. I'll also email you over info I have on drum circles and drum teacher numbers in your area....Good luck!

Someone told me to buy a double stringed djembe drum and not a single stringed drum? Why is this and what's the difference?

- Pat Pryor, Ipswich
Dear Pat.
 
Double stringed drums literally have double the strings holding the ring and skin in place. If the drum is made properly with the correct rope and pulled to correct tension it should not matter if the strings are double or single. In fact the best djembes in the world from Senegal are always single string.