Djembe Tuning Made Easy… Tuning your drum is accomplished by pulling the vertical laces together at a number of points. This effectively pulls the top ring and bottom ring together. Since the bottom ring cannot move upward due to the taper on the drum shell, the top ring is pulled downward, thus pulling on the drumhead and tightening the skin.
The vertical laces are pulled together by a process known as pulling diamonds. To pull a diamond, follow the instructions below:
1. Find the place where the last diamond was formed. (The extra lace will be coming from this point).
2. From this point look to the top ring and identify the next two adjacent laces to be used. (1 and 2)" - see above diagram.
3. Pass the extra lace under these two vertical laces (1 and 2) and then return to pass under the first (1) vertical lace. Note: The lacing on your drum has been left at this point.
4. Pull hard on the extra lace and a diamond will form. A pull down towards the bottom will help keep the diamonds small and regular.
5. If one diamond is sufficient to tune your drum, form a simple knot by passing the extra lace under the diamond point and back through the loop formed, or your may wish to pull several diamonds and then tie it off."

Be careful not to over tighten!!
A well tuned djembe drum has a lot of contrast between bass and tone.

 

Drum Tuning Diagram

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Bass Tone

Rbass

Open Tone

Rtone

Slap Tone

Rslap