There are two kinds of Daf available, one with natural skin and the next with artificial skin or plastic. Generally natural Daf has a better sound and is more expensive compared to plastic Daf. However it is not recommended for beginners apprentices to provide natural Persian Daf as many Dafs have been impaired as a result of not knowing how to maintain them as well as not being aware of how to warm them.
But artificial Daf is more resistant since they don’t need to be warmed and environment doesn’t influence them. of course this does not mean that artificial Daf are of low quality. The first thing at the time of purchasing Iranian Daf is its shape that ought to be completely circular. A lot of Dafs are oval. To distinguish this, you should pay attention to the Daf from the right distance. In the second stage, look carefully at Daf from beside according to the photo.
Now flatness of the skin should be controlled, to see if it is stretched or covered. We have seen frequent cases in which enough attention was neglected. In order to control this point, put the Daf in flat place from the skin side, if you felt a distance between Daf and the surface , you can make sure that the dimension of Kame isn’t flat on the skin side. Another way is keeping DAF horizontally in a way that the skin is upward. Now look at Daf from besides horizontally, if there is a problem it will simply be distinguished. That’s to say, unevenness less than 2 millimeter could be accepted. In some Daf there are undesirable roughness on the edge behind the skin which displays weakness in structuring. There are some Dafs in market named wood patchwork , and their Kame is formed of small wooden pieces which they look so beautiful. But never provide these Daf as their sound is unpleasant in addition to being far heavy. Plastic Dafs usually come in two colors; white and brown, the material used in these Dafs is plastic Kalk paper. Generally, these papers are used in designing technical maps. The material has blur surface. Avoid buying Daf if the material used are glossy and shining surface, because the mentioned material is similar to the material of drums which are played in Muharam, and are not suitable for Daf. By testing the sound of some Dafs that are available, choose the Daf which is neither too treble nor too bass. When played for a long time, heavy Daf makes the player so tired. But it is always said that heavy DAF for beginners are more suitable and enhances their playing power. But after a little progress, otherwise you should provide a Daf which is medium weight. Do these if you are in a good financial situation otherwise provide a DAF which has a medium weight. This medium weight can be provided considering the dimension of Kame. Kames medium thickness should be around 11 to 12 millimeter and its width is 5 to 5/5 centimeter. In professional levels, many players prefer light DAF, but based on my experience we recommend you even if you come to be a professional again use medium weight DAF as performing some complicated rhythms with light DAF is too difficult. And a medium weight DAF would help you to keep balance of the DAF and performing better. It should be mentioned that performing easier rhythms with a very light DAF could be pleasant.