How to Change a Doumbek Drum Head

Note: Never force the hex wrench.  Be gentle and use small increments while tightening. You can apply some lubrication to the screws as needed.  


metric 5mm hex key

  dinner knife

warm kettle or hair dryer

1. Loosen all the screws around the rim little by little.  If the rim is still firmly set on the body then use a dinner knife to pry the rim up.  Remove the old head:

2. Look at the underside of the rim for a mark around one of the lug holes.

3. There should be a corresponding mark on the body of the drum. If not, then keeping the rim and drum oriented, make a mark around one set of holes (inside the rim and the body of the drum so that it will fit together the same way again)  Set the rim aside and remove the old head.


4. Set the new head over the edge of the drum body.

5. Place the mark on the rim over the corresponding mark on the body and line up the peg holes.

6. Start each of the screws in their holes, but don't tighten too much.
When you are tightening the screws, its important to do it gradually, and evenly--  working one peg, then the one across from it and moving around the drum. This will assure the tension is equally distributed over the head.  You can test the tension by hitting the drum near the rim  and listening to the pitch.

7. If at this point you are close to flush and the head is too tight... then you can use a hair dryer or a warm kettle (and a piece of paper underneath) to loosen the head a bit, then continue tightening in very small increments. 

8. Continue in this manner until the head is flush with the rim and the pitches of the rim hits are the same around the rim.

Happy Drumming!

Raquy and Rami
Posted on October 18, 2013 .

Care for your Natural Skin Drum

Natural heads sound great and are fun to play.  They can be heated to tighten, be careful with prolonged proximity to heat source.

An inset lamp or a heating pad are good solutions.  Our lamps are here, and aside from regulating the humidity, they look amazing onstage! 


Heads will eventually need to be changed.

Your Clay Drum is your new Baby-- you only get only chance-- padded case, hard shell even.  Do Not drop! ;)

Do not surrender your drum to anyone who does not know that its your baby. As Walter says, noone looks after your stuff like you. 

If the head is consistently loose even in dry weather then you should consider reapplying the head.  look for a local drummer or Heather or Quentin at DrumFace can provide this service.

Posted on October 18, 2013 .

Care For Your Raquy Egyptian Doumbek / Darbuka / Tabla

The drums are quite sturdy, but the finish can get chipped if handled roughly. 

Use a case when taking it out of the house.

Avoid getting it wet, won't hurt it much, but do dry it afterwards.

It eats beats :) feed  regularly

Regarding the heads, i've had some drums for going on 15 years with the same head.  You will only want to change it if its punctured or

sounds bad.

lit cigarettes or incense, and people with drumsticks are its natural enemies

Happy Drumming!

Posted on October 18, 2013 .