It’s easy to underestimate the role of the cording that encircles our frame drums where the drum head is mounted to the drum shell. At first glance, the cording serves a primarily decorative purpose, adding a distinctive color element to the drum’s natural or polychromed finish. But, that lowly cord is an important design element, contributing in several not-insignificant ways.
Cooperman designed its line of tuneable frame drums with the specific intention of disencumbering the shell from external hardware, thereby reducing weight and giving hand drummers great freedom of grip and movement.
While the head material - whether natural skin or synthetic - is attached directly to the shell, we wanted it to be be secured as tightly as possible, given the need for positive and robust tensioning. The solution is a groove in the shell into which the head material is fastened and then formed to create a locking effect.
Our earliest drum designs employed a wood “ flesh hoop” nailed into the groove to secure the skin material when it was wet. When it dried, the skin formed into the groove and became self-locking.
Later, when synthetic were introduced to our line, we began forming the material using heat to create a similar self- locking channel.
Instead of the wood fleshhoop, we started using a soft cording material to secure the head material into the tension-groove. The cording has four major functions:
- As mentioned earlier, it adds a decorative element, and a visual “ line” marker.
- It adds secondary support, helping to secure the head when it is under tension.
- It muffles the head, reducing the chance of any vibration or buzzing where the head material is attached to the shell.
- It softens the zone where hand drummers are most apt to anchor their thumb.
So, there’s a lot more going on with that cord than one might first imagine.
We’ve chosen default cord colors that we feel suit the character of the various models. You can always personalize your drum by adding your own choice of color cord.