Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

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Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby KevBo » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:25 am

Thought you guys might enjoy some of these.

They are some of the most recent djembes I've finished up.. Congas are next on my list.. but I gotta find the time! :)
0036 - 1.jpg


RHDpro-0037.jpg


RHDpro-0037-detail.jpg
Building custom hand drums at http://www.rhythmhousedrums.com
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Re: Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:27 am

Really nice instruments. Congratulations! I would prefer the zig zag ornament. The other one makes me associate something like sportswear articles (as from Nike or adidas) or a sales promotion. The hooklet seems not to be an integrated part of the instrument´s substance but a kind of added comment. Be careful: the passings of high cultures were always accompanied by loss of relations between forms and contents :wink: .

May I ask a general question? What makes an instrument to be a "professional" instrument? Does it need more skills in order to bare it´s sounds? Or do only professionals have the perceptive skills to value all of it´s facets?

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Re: Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby KevBo » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:38 am

Thanks for the complements...
The zig-zag design was my design for the Pro Series djembe. The other djembe is a custom drum using the Pro Series shape. The heart is the customers logo or brand (she's a painter and uses this as her signature) She wanted it on the drum so I made it happen. Most of what I do are one off custom drums. By hooklet do you mean the disk with my logo and serial number? I've been building drums for 10 some years and never really marked them. I had no way to trace what I was doing. This is a simple way that I can keep track of the drums I build and also help my brand out. It doesn't flow perfect with every drum, but it's natural, wood, and insets nice. And yes, I'd say its more of a comment.

Rest assured that the form of this drum was developed over tons of trial and error while attaining to achieve the best content. In form is function, and this shape is just that. The larger bowl gives for more dynamic range of sound and the down tube shape aids in greater projection and allows me to control the amount of bass. I didn't build these to be pretty, but they formed this way over years of asking myself how to get a djembe with a crisp sound and wide dynamic range and sound more like an African djembe.

I agree that the term "professional" is thrown around way too easy. I see all sorts of instruments / audio equipment / any type of consumer product really... with this title and it means little these days and for a lot of companies is a mere marketing ploy. For me personally, it is a way to distinguish my different styles of djembes. My Original Series is the "break out" shape that allowed me to make a nice looking djembe that had the sound knowledgeable djembefola were looking for. In trying to improve on that, by making the drum louder and more responsive with a wider dynamic range, I came into the "Pro Series". It takes much more work to build, and sells at a higher price point. The trade off is that you get a drum that is more responsive, wider dynamic range, and louder. I guess the idea is that a pro player or djembefola is looking for a special djembe that gives them the best sound possible, while a beginner might not want to make the investment just starting out. Best sound is defined (for me) by listening to traditional West African percussionists playing djembe and finding out what they want in a djembe... tight, responsive, loud, and short sustain is usually what is looked for. My goal in the business is to build djembes that do not replace the African Djembe, but give us a chance to hear the traditional African sound while using local hardwoods and not aiding in the deforestation problems in West Africa. Ultimately a beginner without technique or developed skills might enjoy playing any 'ole hand drum as his tastes and ear are not developed yet, where the professional is going to require a more refined sound and know his craft. He wants from the drum what is asked of it and wont enjoy playing a djembe that doesn't deliver.
Building custom hand drums at http://www.rhythmhousedrums.com
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Re: Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby ABAKUA » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:37 pm

Congrats, they look very solid. My knowledge on Djembe is extremely limited, but those look real good. Good job!
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Re: Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby CongaTick » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:10 pm

WOW! Absolutely stunningly complex craftsmanship.
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Re: Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby Psych1 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:27 pm

Beautiful drums-I bet they sound wonderful.

Is that a synthetic skin on the top one?
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Re: Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby KevBo » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:25 pm

It is synthetic. Here is a video of it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMWGN7VwIJY

Here is a video of a previous "pro series" with goat skin http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&featu ... ktelnAB6Lg

Thanks for the complements guys!
Building custom hand drums at http://www.rhythmhousedrums.com
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Re: Some New Djembes I've Recently Finished

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:45 pm

KevBo wrote:The heart is the customers logo or brand (she's a painter and uses this as her signature)

Okay. I didn´t recognize that it is a heart.

KevBo wrote:By hooklet do you mean the disk with my logo and serial number?

The heart. For me it looks like a hook - in a dictionary I found "hooklet" with the meaning "small hook".

I like your logo and I understand the sense of a serial number. When I started building cajones I did not even have a brand´s name. But musicians apparantly want to play instruments with logo (maybe they feel naked without :wink:). I started thinking about the problem to keep my logo independent from the instrument – or seen from the other side: not to make the logo become part of the instrument itself. Today´s instruments (especially cajones) are often just background areas for the producers´ promotion.

KevBo wrote:Rest assured that the form of this drum was developed over tons of trial and error while attaining to achieve the best content. In form is function, and this shape is just that.

I am wondering about the synthetic heads, because I know that the big companies have to offer a minimum purchase in order to get Remo to make them in the needed shape. I know a German conga maker who copied the top area of a widely used model. This gives him the option to offer his instruments with synthetic heads as well. How are you adapting your djembés to the heads or contrary: the heads to your djembés (maybe by copying a LP djembé´s shape inside the range of 3-5 cm from the top edge?)

KevBo wrote:... where the professional is going to require a more refined sound and know his craft. He wants from the drum what is asked of it and wont enjoy playing a djembe that doesn't deliver.

I just asked because many fascinating playing skills were developed as kompensations of bad instruments.

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