Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

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Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby bobbyd.2.3 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:19 pm

Hi Guys,

I know this is african percussion but I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good thickness of cow skin for a djembe and a dun dun.

I was thinking 1.4mm for the djembes and 1.6-1.8 for the dundun....

Cheers
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby Roka » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:41 pm

Djembe traditionally has a goat skin on it.
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby bobbyd.2.3 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:54 am

I know but I´m going for a thin cow like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6AcRa1D ... re=related

Just wondering if 1.2mm is thin enough...
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby Mr.Rumba » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:53 pm

Believe it or not Mule skin is supposed to be great on djembe. I am going to put a 1mm thick mule skin I got from Manito Percussion on my djembe. I love the sound of cowskin on djembes but the cow usually hurts my hand. The mule is supposed to be a tad softer. I will let you know how it goes.
I am going to put it on this drum. This drum currently has goat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcf8RBTV8rM
This is Manitos website:
http://www.manitopercussion.com/

Mule-Bongo-Skin.jpg
Thin Mule skin for djembe
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby bongosnotbombs » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:20 pm

that's the first time I've ever heard of mule being described as softer than cow, my experience with mule skin is that it is substantially harder than cow.
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby Mr.Rumba » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:47 pm

We will see one way or the other very soon. I am going to put it on my djembe drum and test it out. I'll make a video of it before and after as well and post it.
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby rhythmrhyme » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:46 am

Definitely let us know how the mule works out.

I have a few djembe's and have a calf on one of them. The calf works great as a second accompaniment drum in a traditional ensemble i.e. lead, first then second accompaniment. It has real woody sounding tones and reasonable slaps that create a distinct tonal quality when compared to the first and second drums, the audience can actually tell there are 3 djembe's playing rather than just a cacophonous wall of tones and slaps. I'm curious where the mule would fit in - given how dense it is I'm thinking it may sound good on a lead djembe, around 12.5" diameter x 25" drum. crank it way up and rip away!! Goat is goat, each player has thickness preferences based on the dynamics of the drum and what position they play i.e lead, first or second. Calf is like a thick goat that is a bit less rigid.

edit: I should add that I've seen some pretty thick skins on duns... probably 2mm or more. definitely thicker than what I have on my heaviest conga. Leave the hair on them for the first 6 months or so (you can shave some off to get some volume) of regular playing until they work in and open up, it keeps the overtones down. Then shave em off. It's easy to get freaked out that all your hard work was for sh*t when you first play new dun skins, they often have a lot of overtones for the first year until you beat all the rigidity out of em.
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby Mr.Rumba » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:23 pm

Here are some of my djembes from various regions and trips to West Africa. They all have goat skins for now. I am going to put the mule on the Guinee shell 4th from the left. I also put in a photo of my latest purchase, a Khadi shell from Mali with no carvings.
Attachments
521741_4892450783989_308596877_n.jpg
part of my djembe collection
603359_10151623604948222_266922027_n.jpg
Khadi shell
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby rhythmrhyme » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:35 pm

Mr.Rumba wrote:Believe it or not Mule skin is supposed to be great on djembe. I am going to put a 1mm thick mule skin I got from Manito Percussion on my djembe. I love the sound of cowskin on djembes but the cow usually hurts my hand. The mule is supposed to be a tad softer. I will let you know how it goes.
I am going to put it on this drum. This drum currently has goat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcf8RBTV8rM
This is Manitos website:
http://www.manitopercussion.com/

Mule-Bongo-Skin.jpg


Groovy links - here's one of our local groups doing there thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3HooAO9sXA Fella on lead is from Guinea Conakry, the vid really doesn't show what he's fully capable of - simply an excellent djembe player!
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby Mr.Rumba » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:51 am

Thanks RR! Nice video of Mane and Fula Fare. I like the headgear as well. Are you playing dununs in this? What city is it?
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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby rhythmrhyme » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:45 am

No, I'm not in the video. I played with the djembe player when he first got to canada but the woman who brought him here was acting like his keeper and it put me off. I think this is far too common for talented guys from abroad, get hooked up with the wrong woman, she gets knocked up - bam, he's trapped. Good guy though, fabulous djembe player. The group is in Victoria, there are several west african dance schools who compete in our little town - it's kinda strange really. hundreds of hipsters who want to play the djembe and I can't find a rumba to save my life... :lol:

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Re: Skin thicknesses for Djembe & Dun Dun

Postby Mr.Rumba » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:11 am

Rumba can be a difficult and demanding mistress who appears when she wants to but is always hard to get. This is my experience traveling around the globe a bit as well. These days there is a lot of traditional west african (which I do love as well) and/ or crazy drum circles... and no matter what, lot's of ego. why is there so much ego and fighting ,exclusiveness and power trips around the drum? Anyway, It's nice when you can find a group of people to play the music you love with in a peaceful and non combative environment. To me if you have this , create this or can find this it is a true blessing. I love Canada by the way. Spent a lot of time there :)
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