Instructables

Step 1: Get a skin and prepare it

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The skin can be calf or goat (preferably). Other types may work but usually atabaques use cow or goat.
I sourced mine from an African percussion group around where I live.

You will need to know the diameter at the top of the drum. Add minimum 20 cm (I recommend 30cm or more) to that size and you have the skin size you need to get.
It is important that you have enough extra on the sides (10 to 15 cm) so that you can properly loop the skin in the tensioning rings and still have enough slack to cover them neatly.

When selecting a skin,
- get the thickest one you can (for goat skin)
- avoid shaved skins (hair naturally wears off after you play for a while - it also gives a more authentic look)
- look for cut marks
- look for defects

You may draft a circle to decide on how the skin is going to be placed on the drum. In my case, I made sure the back line was going to be in the center, which is generally the way to do it.

Once you have sourced a skin, it must be soaked in water for a good 8 hours. This will make the skin much more flexible.
 
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triumphman1 year ago
I just had a great day ! I went to Alto Music store near me. My daughter needed new strings on her guitar. They let me play all their drums, Congas, Bongos, and more. Wish could buy them all! Such fun. I would really fit nicely in a bands percussion section. I seem to have a natural ability for drums and such. I don't know where it comes from. I also can play Harmonicas by ear. Its uncanny, I never took any lessons. I can play most anything I hear. Its fun. Thanks again!
triumphman1 year ago
How does it sound ? I did this with a bongo set that was cracked. I used a Whitetail Deer skin that I tanned myself. Sounds nice, better than the old one!
maluco (author)  triumphman1 year ago
In all honesty, it sounds great ! So much better than the previous one indeed.
This drum with a new skin has already seen some live action and has been played by seasoned high-profile capoeiristas and percussionists. all of which have given really positive feedback.