Thursday, September 22, 2011

RoLo's Got a New Drummy!

The Greeky Instrument Store!
Ladies and Gents, fellow musicians and music lovers, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you the newest member of RoLo’s drummies. Unofficially nicknamed “Greeky,” this ceramic hand-drum was picked up in a tiny boutique tucked away in the heart of Athens. You guys probably know by now, I’m quite the enthusiast when it comes to drums, percussion and finely crafted instruments. So, one of the goals I set before heading on my Euro-trip was to add some unique sounds to my repertoire. It didn’t take very long to fulfill my desire. Within a few days of being in Greece, this drum caught my eye. … I had to have it =D
Hand-drum packaged with matching (soft) drum bag & sound adjusting, drum-tuning light bulb.

 Let’s start our showcase with the main attraction:
Rope tuned hand drum with Mocha/Espresso stained finish.
Forged by a Greek ceramicist, Savvas is widely known around the Mediterranean for his hand-spun masterpieces. Most of his drums are custom made on the same kind of rotating wheel that is used to make clay pottery. Savvas only produces a select amount of drums per year. So, each drum has its own tones, shape, and aesthetic designs; adding a unique personality to each work of art. This particular drum is a hybrid Djembe/Darbuka  (or what I like to call Djembuka).

Notice the incredible detail that went into spinning these intricate grooves.
Savvas Logo on center of authentic goat skin.

My drum (along with most of Savvas’ pieces) features an authentic goat skin head. I generally prefer goat skin over its synthetic counterpart. The surface is more sensitive, so your hand and fingers don’t need to strike the drum as hard to get loud tones. The resonation of a goat skin/ceramic drum is out of this world. The bass has a thunderous boom, while the rim shots have a sweet ring.

Checker patterned soft drum bag.
Every Savvas drum comes with a special fitted drum-bag. It’s provides some protection from the natural elements. However, it’s not invulnerable the way hard cases are. Maximum caution is recommended when traveling with a Savvas drum. The ceramic is more fragile than other materials. For example, my aluminum doumbek will dent if I drop it or knock into something. This ceramic drum could crack if it’s dropped.

On the bright side, if my hands are full, I can use the two long straps as a backpack.

This is a really interesting addition to Savvas drums. Because the drum head is tightened by ropes, it’s really difficult and tedious to tune if it gets loose. This can happen due to cold temperatures or just from inactivity. To counteract this, Savvas devised a mechanism to help keep the drum in tune. It’s really simple. Just put the contraption (bulb first) into the sound hole of the drum, like so:

The legs of the contraption bend to form to the sound hole. Once in place, the legs expand to grip within. It doesn’t fall in or out.
Use the remote to adjust the strength of the light. The higher the setting, the hotter the bulb, the tighter the head becomes. This is what it looks like on a medium setting in the dark:    

Final verdict… It’s awesome! I’ve been fussing around with the drum nonstop for the past few days. There’s a lot of potential for utilizing the looser, deeper tones along with the tightened higher tones. Not to mention that the remote can make for an interesting light show 8)
Check out future drum sessions featuring my Savvas hand drum. In the meantime, enjoy!
Loose tuning:

Tight tuning:

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