How to Change a Timpani Head

Changing the heads on your timpani is a necessary fact of drum maintenance. If you are playing your drums regularly you should really change the heads a least once per year or more often if they become damaged with dents or holes. It’s really not that difficult to change the head, but it does become […]

How to Use a Drum Dial on a Timpani Head

Drum Dials are terrific tools to use to make sure that your timpani head has even tension all the way around at each tuning lug. Having equal tension makes it easier to clear the head and to make the drum sound in tune with itself. Using a Drum Dial can be confusing at times because […]

How to Clear a Timpani Head

Clearing a timpani head is to tune each lug on the drum to the same note. It’s an art unto itself and requires some experience, trial and error and patience. Watch this Video Demonstration Where I Clear a Timpani Head The first step in the clearing process is to ensure the head is mounted properly. […]

How to Locate and Eliminate Annoying Timpani Rattles

Oh, Those Annoying Rattles! There isn’t a timpanist anywhere who hasn’t experienced the frustration of trying to locate an unwanted rattle on one of their drums. They can be tricky to find and fix, but if you know some of the notorious rattle traps you have a better chance at fixing them. Rattles on timpani […]

Why the Timpani Pedal Slips and How to Avoid it

Timpani pedal slips are a common problem for balanced action timpani like Yamahas and Ludwig Symphonic drums and what happens is that the head tension and the pedal spring tension aren’t in sink so the pedal won’t stay in place as you play or when you tune. Timpani Pedal Won’t Stay on Lowest note Here’s […]

Timpani Pedals Explained: Your Guide to Working the Timpani Pedal

I played a concert this season with a professional orchestra with very fine players in all of the sections. Even though my musician colleagues were very experienced musicians on their own instruments I wasn’t too surprised when a ‘cello player that I know came up to me when I was practicing before the rehearsal started […]