Djembe has been very prominent among so many kinds of percussion instruments. As one of the oldest instruments, Djembe plays an important role in many music genres, mostly in reggae, blues, and also other genres like pop and techno, to add an interesting touch of sound that stimulates listeners to move and dance. Yes, as the source of rhythm, a djembe player will be in the limelight on stage.
As its origin model, conventional djembe is made of wood and the head membrane (made of goatskin) is pressed and pulled with high tension rope. This takes a special skill to do, not everyone can easily do it themselves at home. It requires a certain level of tension and special technique to make up the vertical rope runners and knots, so the head will produce the right taste of sound, on the bass, tone, and slap sound (high pitched). But as time flies, the tension level on the head membrane might be decreasing, thus making out of tune sound. This causes the djembe to sound dull and flat. In general, djembe needs to be tuned several times a year, sometimes more. Frequently beating the djembe head causes a decrease in sound tune, even the weather temperature change can also make the goatskin to be less stretched sooner or later.
Referring to the nature or character of djembe as described above, imagine when at some point, a player is suddenly needed to perform while he doesn’t have much time to tune his djembe, or when he is someone who doesn’t want to be bothered with details on tuning djembe rope, it is such a nightmare for him.
But as people always struggle to be innovative to make life easier, Djembe has also been made with other synthetic materials and tuning systems. PVC material, the one that is commonly known to be used as water pipes, now is also used as the shell of Djembe. This is combined with the use of a synthetic head membrane and mechanical tuning system without the use of rope. Thus, it makes a light yet strong and durable djembe and membrane. Also, the ease of tuning up its sound will be hassle-free and take a little time. Everyone can do it themselves by just using a small wrench. So, no matter if you are in a hurry, this is absolutely not a problem at all.
Take a look at this short video below to see how you can tune a PVC Djembe easily. So, for some people who prefer an easy way of life, this is the right choice for them. How about you?