Care and Maintenance of a Timpani
How to take care of timpani
For timpani with plastic heads, there is no need to loosen the head after use (but animal skin needs to be loosened). However, when the timpani is not going to be played for a while, loosen the head a bit to reduce the tension, even for plastic heads.
Do not expose the head to heat, water, oil or dust. Wipe off any dirt with a soft cloth. Get in the habit of covering the drum with a head protector after use.
Do not allow the kettle to bump into other objects. Wipe the timpani with a polishing cloth every so often.
Do not squeeze the hoop between your arms when carrying the instrument-hold the frame.
For pedal-type timpani, attach a pedal caster when pushing the instrument. For short distances, pick up and pull the instrument without letting the pedal parts touch the ground.
Spray high-quality grease on the moving parts around once a year. However, as grease is already applied on the tuning bolts, do not use different grease on the tuning bolts.
Replacing the head
If you continue to play the timpani without changing the head as it gets old, the instrument will gradually become out of balance, and eventually you will not be able to play it normally. In order to keep your timpani in good shape for a long time, replace the head with a new one once a year. We recommend that you also be sure to tune the instrument to its lowest note before playing or practicing.