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Riq's and the advantage of internal tuning.

   Wed, December 23, 2009 - 7:31 PM
For many years I subjected myself to the disadvantages of externally tuned riqs. Originally I purchased a Gawharet el fan riq. Like any instrument I eventually got used to it, and dealt with the weight and non ergo design of it. I was limited technically of course, soft position was next to impossible and the weight of it made it hard to swing forwards and backwards. I did purchase another semi-cheap one, the bolt tuning was slightly smaller but the inlay began to come off, not to mention other problems.

I must admit one thing I did gain from it though was hand strength, my split finger technique on darbuka improved (one of the reasons I kept using it) It was weight training of sorts I guess. That would have to the only positive experience physically. I recently acquired a Cooperman riq, the craftsmanship alone is worth its weight (or lack of) in gold. Cabaret technique is my main technique as it is most riq players. I have been putting in many hours on soft position,so much more enjoyable!!!!! Now I can enjoy the effortless comforts of that technique. The weight difference is like night and day, and the overall feel of the instrument is way better. This blog is not a Cooperman review by any means, but either spend the money or save the money and make the right purchase.

Now the really easy part, the tuning. Internal tuning makes so much sense. The cheaper bolt or external tuned drums can and will drive you crazy. First there's the problem of over tensioning, and or stripping one of the tuning bolts. Also a lot of times the rims that hold the head down are out of round. This is a huge problem in itself, and an attempted repair is a gamble. Tuning is quite different than other instruments being that the head is so small. Dialing the perfect tensioning and tuning is frustrating as well. Overall the lack of hardware and low grade wood will have your hands (especially the hand which holds your riq) smiling. If you are reading this and relating to the details listed use it as motivation for a purchase. I can safely say that the Kevork riqs and the Cooperman's are top notch. There are many resources of course online which provide reviews and feedback for many of the riqs available.


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