Care and Maintenance of a Marimba
Care and maintenance of the tone plates
Moisture is wood's nemesis!
The tone plates of a marimba are made of wood, chiefly the highest quality rosewood. Some instruments use another wood, called padauk.
These woods are dried over long periods of time in order to be used as tone plates, yielding lingering reverberations by lowering the moisture content that the wood starts out containing. Therefore, moisture is the arch enemy of the tone plates. Avoid playing in the rain or in other such damp situations.
After playing, store the instrument in a well-ventilated, room-temperature location, and avoid significant changes in temperature and humidity.
Carefully wipe with a dry cloth
The surfaces of marimba tone plates are painted to protect the tone plates from humidity. The paint coat is easily harmed by dust, so carefully wipe the surface with something dry, such as a cloth.
Absolutely no metallic mallets!
Do not use metallic mallets on wooden tone plates. The tone plates will break or will be otherwise damaged.
What if a tone plate becomes damaged?
Cutting of wood fibers while wooden tone plates are hit gradually lowers the note produced. If the pitch is off, the bar is broken, the surface has peeled off, or the tone plate is otherwise damaged, then replace it.