Posted on April 7, 2021February 5, 2024 by Dale Phillips Skin Heading Ethnic Drums, Etc. Skin Heading Ethnic Drums, Etc. by Topher Gayle Originally published in American Lutherie #2, 1985 Derbeckis (A.K.A. dumbegs or Arabic tabla) are medium-sized (10" to 18") hand drums used most frequently in Middle-Eastern folk and Belly-Dance music, and also heard in jazz idioms. Two main types of the drum exist: metal bodied drums, usually Turkish, utilizing a mechanical drumhead tensioner much like that on bongos or conga (which drummers frequently want to have replaced by banjo tensioners); and the clay-bodied drums which come in a large variety of sizes and shapes. Wood-bodied drums also exist and may usually be treated as clay (for the most part). Tim Olsen asked if various skin-headed stringed instruments might be treated by this device. I have not done so myself, but I don’t see any serious complications. A radiator hose clamp chain can be used to fix the skin to the side of the body if the body side joins the top at a right angle. I used this technique on a small wooden drum with good results. Blocks were required to raise the body up to the top frame hex, since the drum was so short. The skin was brought up to tension as described below, and then the radiator clamps attached. The assembly was let dry just as is usually done. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.