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Has anyone ripped a skin?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:52 am
by drbongo42
Would like to hear any anecdotes about skins ripping - in what circumstances it happened etc.

Is it possible to rip a head when tuning up to a high note - say C4 or D4 on a quinto - or would this require excessive force? Or would the shell/hardware fail first?

Or do heads generally only rip if they are left tuned up tight and the weather changes?

The only time I have had a head rip was on a set of bongos I re-skinned and this was because I over-tightened the wet drying skin and over night it ripped as it dried...

I also wondered how long one should expect a conga skin to last? - Assuming it was tuned up and played for a couple of hours a day - might also vary depending on how tight it was tuned - i.e. I would expect skins on a tumba to last longer than the skin on a quinto.

Finally can synthetic skins rip? And what is the life expectancy of these compared to rawhide etc?

drbongo42 8)

Re: Has anyone ripped a skin?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:20 am
by Chtimulato
Hi. The answer can vary... Depends on how you play, how you tune / detune your drums, where you live (dry or damp climate), where you store the drums, and how you treat them...
Some djembe players have to replace the skin every 6 months. Some make them last two years.

FYI, I got an LP Valje bongó I bought in 1988, and the hembra still has the original skin, whereas I changed the macho skin at least 5 or 6 times. And the only skin that ever ripped for me in some 35 years music playing was precisely the macho skin of this drum, but not because of me : I had to pick up someone before a gig we did in a bar, where we allready had prepared the instruments, and as I came back,the skin was ripped, and nobody knew anything, nor had seen anything. And it's not a kind of sleeping beauty resting in some case, I play them regularly.

If you happen to rip a skin, maybe you have reached the tuning "point of no return" you seemed to be experimenting.

Just my two cents.

Have a nice day.

Re: Has anyone ripped a skin?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:04 pm
by Chtimulato
And to answer more precisely your question, all depends on the drum (wood or fiberglass ?), the skin thickness and hardware quality.

A thick skin won't rip so quickly, of course. But if you try to crank the drum too much, maybe the skin will hold and not the hardware. Or the opposite. Or maybe you can make the drum go out of round.

Of course, cheap drums will suffer very quickly in this case.