Djembe Repair, Tuning & Care

Get Tips To Keep Your African Drum In Shape

djembe repair
Kingy Mensah

Djembe repair and maintenance is a must for every conscious drum owner. Keep your drum in shape and it will last you many years!

Mensah is a drum builder and percussionist in West Africa. He has been working with African drums all his life and has lots of tips and ticks in store for you.

Fortunately, you don't need to be a professional to properly take care of your drum. With the help of Mensah and other drummers you can learn to do it all yourself. It's fun and relatively easy. Just ask for help below.

Here are some of the things you need to think of:


A hand-made drum from West Africa is a piece of art. What somebody crafted with his hands, heart and great effort is worth receiving your best care. Proper handling can prevent a lot of trouble. At the very least, use a djembe case that protects during transport and storage.


djembe repair

African drums are hand-made of natural materials and therefore prone to small imperfections.

It can become necessary to fix small holes in the hide or to repair cracks in the shell. That's easy to do. But you may face bigger issues as well:

From time to time, you'll need to remove the old rope and redo the djembe knots and the vertical djembe stringing with a new one.

Or you'll even have to replace the whole drum head because the skin is damaged.


When the sound is off, your drumming skills are not necessarily the problem. Every djembe needs a tune up from time to time. Depending on the shape of your drum, there are various methods to tune it. You can have your teacher do it or just learn to tune your djembe yourself.

Previous Questions & Answers

Read the questions asked by other djembe owners for more helpful tips and advice:

What's with the ending knots on my djembe? 
I just got a new djembe and need to tune it. It came with extra tuning rope and a handle attached (I unraveled the handle to start tuning the drum) but …

Is it possible to fix a hole in the drum skin? 
An edged object fell on my drum, and now it has a ½ inch hole in the skin. The flab of skin is still hanging there, so i wonder if i could just glue it …

Material for Djembe Head Replacement
My drum head is destroyed because someone made some large holes and now it is unusable. I need info on how to replace the head myself. Where do I get the …

My djembe sounds horrible - What's wrong? 
Honestly I am not sure what the problem is. I wish I did, but I'm a sixteen year old with no teacher. The sounds are not melodic like the ones I played …

What's the best wood to use
when replacing a section of hari dundun?
My Hari shell dundun dropped some white glue and sawdust filler on the inside to reveal borer damage, which was substantial and too big to use filler. …

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