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Building Instruments

The book I got many pointers from was Serge Blanc's book "African Percussion: The Djembe". It's 81 pages is a great resource and Highly recommended and Very useful for learning the history and rhythms as well, (it comes with a CD of examples). Probably available (in the original French or the English translation) from your favorite bookseller, the Djembe and Mande Music Reference pages, Michael Wall is who I got mine (and the ones I have distributed to others) from, or you may contact Serge directly in France.

Another must have is a computer program for the PC, "Dan Sterantino's DrumCalc". This may be downloaded from here the program and the manual. DrumCalc is a nifty freeware tool for the building of staved Djembes and Ashikos (actually could be used to build any stave cylinder drum using equal values for top and bottom, I also use it to lay out my knot pattern for the harness on the rings as well) available by Dan's kindness and generosity for distribution from us here at "Signa Phi Nothing".

For more information you may consult the Djembe-L FAQ , which has a wealth of information on it. The Archive for the Djembe-L listserv may be searched for lots of tips and tricks, though for that you would need to be a member, I believe. Once you've joined this wonderful list you may certainly ask specific questions of our 2400+ members (as of MAY 2K5) around the world. I moderate posting on this list as another of my drumming community services. Additionally, in recent publication online there is a Dutch sight called " Inibara " that has some fine illustrated tutorials on drum repair.

To join: you may visit the Djembe-L WebRing that I created and maintain and there is a convienent console for joining Djembe-L and many other lists on drumming and related subjects. If any of ya'll have websights that you would Love to include and meet the criteria, that would be great!

Other groups that specialize in building instruments include: African Drum Building (; Drum Makers (; Junkmusic (; Oddmusic (; and Wind Chimes Construction (

To Check out instruments I've built visit here.

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