|Drum making Performance Projects|
Since 1997 Paul Keane has been behind some of Australia's best Djembes. He was the first drum maker in Australia to source and supply Billy Hydes with high quality Djembes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
"The "shell" is the first and most crucial part of putting together a really good drum. In the early days they were harder to get and shapes, styles and quality of the wood varied quite a bit. But over time you get to know who's bringing in the best shells and in the past few years we've been very fortunate and been able to pick out and buy some of the highest quality shells that are coming into Australia."
Again it's taken time to find out who has the best skins
- but the one's I use at the moment have great evenness of tone and just
the right balance between stretch and strength.
"Preparation of the bearing edge (top rim of the drum) is worth the time and trouble. It makes the drum sound a lot more even, and makes playing a lot more comfortable."
African Percussion drums are also treated with a "slip-sealed bearing surface" - a frictionless finish to the bearing edge which further increases the life of the skin and helps prevent weak spots developing as the drum skin moves in heat / cold or during tuning.
Tuning rope and knots
"The rope and knots make a bigger difference than you would expect. They're a bit like the engine room of the drum. If you take short cuts here and don't put enough knots on the rim or use poor quality rope that stretches or frays - then you'll have to tune it more than is necessary and even then, you're drum's never going to sound as good as it could"
"I build my drums to last. Of course skins and tuning
ropes will wear out and need to be replaced but I'm always glad to see
them come back - I know I don't have to start from scratch - all the hard
work has already been done!"
African Percussion Guarantee
All African Percussion drums and repairs come with an African Percussion guarantee of satisfaction and a twelve month warranty against faults in the materials or workmanship.