Drum Maintenance 101: How To Keep Your Drums In Top ConditionPosted by Mike Schumacher
Drumming is a fun way to express yourself. There are many different styles of music you can play and ways to approach playing the drums. You can listen to some of the greatest drummers in music history and see how they play!
Drum kits come in a variety of prices, sizes, and models. Some are better quality than others, so it is important to look into what brands are good and what models are worth the money.
Keeping your drums in good condition requires some maintenance. Whether you use your drums regularly or just keep them stored for later use, here at Ink’N’Iron we will tell you all about how to keep your drums in top condition.
First, we will go over some tips on cleaning your drums. Then, we will talk about how to keep the heads on the drums in good condition.
Keep your heads tight
Once you have chosen your favorite drum set, it is time to pick your favorites. There are many different types of drums and even more combinations of heads to put on each drum.
The most important part of any drum is the head. The head is what gives the drum its sound. If you have a soft head, then your drum will have a softer sound. If you have a hard head, then your drum will have a sharper sound.
To keep your drums in top condition, you must keep your heads tight. Check your heads every so often and re-tighten them if necessary. Make sure to use the correct size wrench to do this!
Other things that can cause issues with drums are lugs and rings. Make sure these are in good condition and re-secure them if needed.
Keep your heads tuned
The next tip is very important: keep your drums tuned. A poorly tuned drum can sound very bad, and even worse, can damage the head.
When a drum is over-tuned, the head can be pulled apart and torn. This makes it harder to play and even more difficult to replace the head.
Under-tuning a drum can also have negative effects. If the drum is too tight, it can vibrate unevenly which will sound bad. It can also break the sticks as they are being played on the surface.
There are many companies that provide services to tune your drums. The cost varies depending on how many drums need to be tuned and how difficult it is to do so.
Wash your drums regularly
Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to talk about how you can take your drum maintenance to the next level. Once a week, or once every two weeks depending on use, you should wash your drums.
Do not wait until your drums are extremely dirty to wash them! It is best to wash them while they are still slightly dirty since it is hard to tell if they are really clean until they are washed.
To wash your drums, start by filling a basin with warm water and a small amount of mild soap. Swoosh the shells around in the water and let them soak for a few minutes. Then, rinse them out with more water until it runs clear. Dry with a towel and/or a fan.
Oil drum bearings regularly
As mentioned earlier, when the drum is turned, the bearing in the bottom of the drum has to rotate too.
If the drum is made of metal, then the bearing is made of a plastic or metal ring with round bearings inside. These are called ring and ball bearings.
The ring bearing slides between two rings that make up the bottom of the drum. The ball bearings slide inside of the rings that make up the interior of the drum.
When these components are not properly lubricated, they will grind against each other and eventually wear down or even break. This is why it is important to oil these components regularly!
You can find specific instructions for your specific type of drums, but a general rule of thumb is to oil these once a week.
Check tension of all components regularly
As mentioned earlier, a loose head can cause the drum to sound bad. The tone can be off and the head can ring for too long. This is because the drum stick hits the rim and then the head, instead of just hitting the head.
Checking the tension on the heads is a quick way to know if there is something wrong with the drum itself. If you notice this issue, check all of your drums to make sure they are in good condition.
All of the components connect to each other, so something wrong with one could have an effect on another. Check all of your parts to see if any need replacing.
Know the symptoms of faulty drum bearing before it fails completely
While it is normal for drum bearing to need occasional maintenance, it is important to know the signs of a failing drum bearing.
A worn out drum bearing will make noise when the drums are spun without sticks or a pedal being used. This is a sign that the ball bearings are not fitting snugly within the housing.
Heavier drums will make this problem more apparent. As the weight of the drum pulls down on the bearing, it will show signs of being deficient.
A broken drum bearing can cause serious damage to other parts of your drums.
Know the symptoms of a loose head before it slips completely
A loose head can be a sign of a problem, but it does not necessarily mean your drum is broken. A loose head can just mean that the tension needs to be adjusted or re-adjusted.
It can be due to over-playing or playing songs with really heavy bass lines. When the drums are played, the inner core can move slightly, causing the head to pull away from the rim.
A loose head can also be due to wet weather conditions. If the inner core is made of foam and it gets wet, it can lose its shape and therefore lower its capacity to hold tension. A new head that is too tight may also cause the inner core to shift position, causing the head to slip off of the drum.
Learn how to adjust basic components like springs and anchors
In order to keep your drums in top condition, you need to know how to adjust the components of the drum. The most important parts are the drum head, the drum shell, and the lugs.
Drummers who have been playing for a while usually have their own way of adjusting these parts. However, if you do not know how to adjust the anchors that hold the drum head on, or how to tighten the drum shell, then you are liable to have problems.
The way you adjust these components depends on the type of drums you have. If you have knowledge of all of them, then you are well equipped to keep your drums in tip-top shape.
First, learn how to adjust the tension on the drum heads using gauges and then try your hand at anchoring them herself.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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