Homemade: Stu's DjunBasket
you need a nice loud drum circle drum, but don't want to invest
in(and lug around) a big heavy djun djun? Or perhaps you need a
nice inexpensive drum to practice freehand on? The DjunBasket is
for you. It's easy to make, very light in weight, and versatile
enough to find a range of uses. One can play it with sticks or with
hands, depending upon the situation and the tuning..
LISTEN to stu's
(played with sticks, as above right. Hand drumming
examples to be posted soon.)
The djunbasket is one of a family of
homemade drums, which we will eventually present in it's entirety,
with whole sets of rhythms and practice exercises to help teachers
using homemade percussion with their students.
1. One aluminum bushel basket - Of course, any kind of metal pail
will make a drum, but for several
reasons, we urge you to consider this particular type of aluminum
2. Approximately three radiator hose clamps, enough to encircle
the basket in a connected chain.
3. One goat or calf skin, 20 to 22 inches in diameter. If you choose
calf, try to get one that's not too thick. (If it is thicker than
the lip around the edge of the basket, you may have some problems
getting the ring to hold.)
4. A razor or X-acto knife, needle nosed pliers, screwdriver
Are you set to go? Okay, let's make the drum..
1. take the skin, and soak it in lukewarm water in the tub, until
it is quite pliable, but not so long as to make it thick and flabby;
about two or three hours for goat, perhaps a bit longer for calf.
2. while the head is soaking, get the rest of it ready, Join the
radiator hose clamps into a circle, end to end, and tighten them
down, just enough to make the ring of hose clamps about two or three
inches bigger than the diameter of the basket.
3. Place the wet head on the basket and center it.
4. Place the chain of hose clamps down upon the head, and pull
down around the skin and basket. Tighten slowly and carefully most
of the way, allowing a bit of play for pulling on the skin. At this
stage, if you have a friend to help you pull the head down on all
sides as you continue to tighten, that will help. It's a little
tricky, because tighening anywhere on the ring of clamps will tighten
all the way around. Finally tighten it all the way down; you don't
want it slipping later, when you are playing it hard with a stick.
Put it up and let it dry overnight.
5. Your drum is now playable. You'll want to play it a bit before
trimmming off the excess skin, test it out; when you are satisfied
that you won't need to resoak and remount the head, take the razor
knife and CAREFULLY trim off the excess skin.
Chris Bittner of www.drumworksbychris.com
made this wise suggestion: "The skin will shrink under
the clamp when it dries, so make sure and tighten it one last time
when it's dry, to take up any slack." You want to make sure
it doesn't loosen up under the stickwork.
To make this drum better next time we intend to do the following:
The hose clamp is a tiny bit wider than the space between the lip
around the top edge and the handle mounting; it diidn't quite fit
in there perfectly. Next time, we'll take a dremmel tool and take
off just a tiny bit of the width of the hose clamp chain where it
meets the handles.
Since I am planning to use it for a djun djun substitute, we'll
do the next one in heavier calf. For hand use, we'd make it goat,
and pull it tighter when applying the head. We may do a double headed
one in goat, but I need to buy a grinder first.
We haven't mentioned decorating it, but that would help to personalize
it a lot. We purposely left this one plain.
Anyway, please send
feedback. Thanks for looking..