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.  

tools:  

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.

Reheading:

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 .