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Topics - drtom

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Riq, Mazhar, bendir, Tar... Lover / Skinning a Daf
« on: February 03, 2020, 09:11:49 PM »
Greetings Rhythmfolas,

I'm a drum maker and quite knowledgeable about drums, yet must admit that my ignorance far outweighs my knowledge.  I have much to learn and constantly strive to do so.

I seek advise as to how best to skin a daf.  I've skinned dafs before with good results (at least according to my clients) but hope you can educate me further on the topic.

I have a 15- 3/4 in by 3- 5/8 daf and wonder what type of skin you would use and what thickness.  Also, how tightly would you mount the skin?  I've skinned similar drums with African goat skin pulled about as tight as I could go.  These skins are probably thicker than most dafs use, but they're very reliable and durable, and they sound really great.

Thank you for any light you can shed on the subject.

Doumbek, Darbuka Lovers / Type of Darbuka
« on: November 27, 2018, 12:13:55 AM »
Well Folks,

A few days ago I asked about a vintage darbuka, and you don't seem to know much about that.  Maybe you can tell me something about the following doumbek:

Doumbek, Darbuka Lovers / Vintage Darbuka
« on: November 24, 2018, 01:04:10 PM »
Greetings Darbukafolas,

I come seeking your help.

I've come across an old darbuka (at least 40 years, please see attachment) that I'm not familiar with, and I'm hoping you can help me with a couple of things.

First, help identify this drum.  Where is it from?  Who made it?  It's only a gut feeling, but I think it's Persian.

Second, where can I get the missing hardware?  Obviously the skin is missing, but I have plenty of that.  As I understand it the missing hardware consisted of an adjustable brass ring with a rubber grommet.

Thank you for any light you can shed.

Riq, Mazhar, bendir, Tar... Lover / Riq Repair
« on: March 10, 2018, 11:48:25 AM »
Greetings Membranophonefolas,

As most of you probably know by now, all drum heads eventually die.  If your riq, mazhar, bendir, tar or other frame drum blows its top, I'd be happy to help.  That's what I do.  Just message me or contact me through my website.

Doumbek Advice, Tips Questions & Lessons / Darbuka Restoration
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:48:09 PM »
Never give up on your darbuka.  There's always hope for your old friend.

Doumbek, Darbuka Lovers / Darbuka King
« on: January 22, 2018, 01:00:39 PM »

Riq, Mazhar, bendir, Tar... Lover / Daf Repair Needed In UK
« on: January 14, 2018, 02:32:05 PM »

I repair hand drums of all kinds and have been doing so for years.  People find me through my website, and recently someone from the UK contacted me about a daf that needs repair.  He says he cannot find anyone and is thinking of shipping it to Iran for repair.  I'm in the US myself, so it wouldn't be very practical for him to ship it to me and back.

If any of your reside in the UK and are willing and able to repair this daf, please contact: Santos De Castro  at


Hey Darbukafolas,

I repair ceramic doumbeks on a regular basis, mostly replacing blown out drum heads.  Over the years I've used a great variety of techniques for tensioning and attaching the skin onto the shell.

This is one technique.

This is another.

And yet another.

Nowadays, I tend to forego any type of rope system and use a press to tension and attach the skin onto a doumbek.  With any rope system I've tried, there comes a point at which the skin will begin to tear where the rope passes through the skin.  The skin can tear with the press as well, but not before I've pulled the skin tighter than with any rope system.

Here's one example of a skin mounted with a press.

I've used skirted skins as well - skins that have a skirt of fabric sewn onto them- and these can work well, but I've had them tear on me also.

Any drum makers out there with an opinion on the best way to mount a skin on a daruka?

Doumbek Advice, Tips Questions & Lessons / Fish Skin
« on: June 18, 2017, 06:38:27 PM »
Hey Folks,

I prefer fish skin for doumbeks.  Goat skin sounds great and synthetic skins can be cranked way up plus have other advantages, but I prefer fish skin.  I also love it on riqs and would love to try it on other drums.

The problem is that, for years now, it's been very difficult to get a hold of in the US.  No one is importing it.  With great time and effort, I can sometimes get a couple of pieces from someone who's visited the Middle East and brought some home with them.  I would love a reliable source.
Does anyone know of a reliable source in the US?  Does anyone live in the Middle East and might be interested in exporting to the US?  Anything along those lines would be great news to me.

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