David Valdés

Restauration of a Givernau tenor drum.

I have found a very peculiar drum in an antiques fair. It measures 44,7x31cm or 17″ 10/16 x 12″ 4/16). They  are not “exact” measures in neither system, which is quite bizarre. It also features some nice single point lugs and the tension rods are off-set.

Givernau drum

As you can see, the drum was in very bad cosmetic shape. The exterior was badly scratched, the interior was soiled with paint… Despite that, it was structurally perfect, so it was a great candidate for a deep restauration.


As always, the first thing that I did was striping all the parts.

drum shell

I sanded the shell until I got rid of all the paint and it was perfectly smooth. I started with a 40 grain and finished with a 240 one. I stained the shell in a wenge color, used some 000 steel wool on it and then I applied several layers of transparent satin barnish.

sanded drum shell
wenge dye
dry drum shell
barnished drum shell

I did exactly the same with the counterhoops.

wooden counterhoops
before and after
dyed counterhoop
barnished counterhoops

I also deep cleaned the hardware.

single point
tension rods

I mounted all the parts back on the shell using new screws and bolts, as the original ones were too rusty and it was not worth the effort cleaning them.

single point lug
signed shell

I cleaned the original goat heads and mounted back the drum. This is the final result.

Givernau Tenor drum

The heads of the tension rods are quite substantial in size, so no conventional key works on them. A #10 wrench works perfectly, so I bought a new one to stay with this drum.

tuning key

I didn´t know what brand this drum was, but an expert on Spanish vintage drums I write to on Facebook told me that it is a Givernau, a brand made in Cataluña during the 60s.


I can tell tell you that it sounds beautiful, with very powerfull lows but with a very clear articulation. It will be super handy for certain repertoire.


I hope that I can upload a video soon. What do you think about this drum?



…et in Arcadia ego.

© David Valdés