How To Tune A Rope Tension Djembe

Rope Tension Tuning Djembe


Djembe hand drum has a long djembe history from Africa to current worldwide djembe drumming. Djembe drum is well known for personal use, therapy, drum circles and many more benefits. It comes in various djembe prices and qualities. Bali Treasures as a largest hand drum manufacturer for almost two decades has been producing quality hand drums including djembe drums for top percussion brands in the world. In this article we will show step by step of how to tune a rope tension djembe. This is one of the ways of how to maintain your djembe drums.

With the increasing demand of djembes, specially the rope tension wooden and PVC djembe, there are question by clients of how to tune a rope tension djembe. This explanation below will focus on rope tension djembe tuning only. Tuning a rope tension djembe can be fun as it is easy to do. You simply need to observe/ understand the rope knots and strength to pull the rope. In below description we will provide simple and step by step of how to tune a rope tension djembe. It can also be applied to Bali Treasures (Global Patent) PVC rope tension djembe. We will use simple ‘pulling diamonds’ tuning method. We hope you will find this article useful.

As for additional information, Bali Treasures holds Global Patent for producing PVC djembe drum shell. This great invention offers clients of alternative djembe drum shell materials. PVC djembe is lighter, stronger and it has slightly bigger drum head size, hence better in producing bass tone and looks awesome.

When does your djembe needs tuning?

The question of when does a djembe needs a tuning requires simple slap or bass tone testing on the djembe drum head. Below, we provide two simple videos of djembe that needs tuning and djembe drum head that tuned well. You simply test it by hitting the drum head for slap and bass tone. The well tuned djembe drum head should produce clear & crisp slap tone, also booming loud bass tone. The djembe drum head that needs tuning normally sounds weak and loose or some call it wobbly.

Some of the good quality djembes like Drum Factory’s are capable of yielding good bass and slap tones after it is tuned. Some low/ budget quality djembe needs careful tuning as too much rope tightening may cause the djembe drum head to break. We offer our clients various types from Entry level djembe to Professional level djembe.

Also it can be tested from the vertical rope beside the djembe. If the djembe drum head needs tuing, the vertical ropes may a little loose and not stiff if you press it with two fingers (Video 1 below). Fine tuned djembe drum head will have firmer and stiffer vertical ropes at the side of the djembe drum (Video 2 below). If the rope is not stiff means the djembe drum head doesn’t have enough tension pressing down to the djembe head. By tuning it with the step by step instruction hopefully the vertical ropes will be stiffer and drum head tension is higher and better.

Step by Step

The first step of tuning it is to locate and loosen the excess rope that wrapped around djembe. If you didn’t get extra rope you can use a new rope to tune. Tied up one end of the existing weave and you can start with the other end.

Step by step photos

Photo 1. Tied one end to weave

Photo 2. The other end cross the 2 vertical ropes.

Photo 3. The rope end cross back to the left vertical rope and tighten it.

Photo 4. Pull the rope to the right so that the left vertical rope is twisted/ weaved to the right side vertical rope.

Photo 5. You can use a stick to help you to pull the rope easier.

Photo 6. Afer the first knot is made, continue to make the second knot by repeating the step on Photo 2. Cross the end of rope across 2 vertical rope to right side.

Photo 7. Cross back the rope to the left side vertical rope and tighten it.

Photo 8. Pull the rope to the right and so that the left vertical rope is twisted to the right vertical rope. You can adjust the second weave adjacent to the first knot.


You can continue to make more knots around the djembe so that drum head tension is evenly around it. Sometimes, you can stop after you have made half way round of the diamond weave because the bass and slap tones are loud and clear already. The half way round diamond knots around djembe may cause the head tension is not even, thus different slap and bass tones in different sides of drum head. Yet the djembe drums will still be good for drum circle activity.

That is a brief and simple explanation of how to tune a rope tension djembe. Hope it is useful for readers. Bali Treasures has two retail/ wholesale shops in Ubud Bali. Please find details in contact section. We could also be an OEM manufacturer for your brands. Our production capacity is around 25 containers of hand percussions /month. Please get in touch with us. Our team, including R &D team, will support you. Our shop in Ubud Bali offers many models of djembe stocks, many hand drum models (dun-dun, darbuka, doumbek), and djembe accessories such as djembe strap, djembe stand, etc for your djembe drumming needs. Thank you. Now you can tune your friends’ djembes as well.