Timpani sticks are expensive so you need to learn how to take care of them so that they will last a long time. A simple way to maintain your mallets is to trim the fuzz periodically when they need haircuts.
Use cuticle scissors to give your mallets a haircut
- Trim the pieces of felt that are pulling away from your mallet head with rounded cuticle scissor.
- Don’t pull on the felt because you’ll just make the pulls and fuzzyness worse!
- You can make them look like new by giving them periodic haircuts
- If you don’t trim them they will get fuzzier and fuzzier and not last very long.
It’s simple to do. Just watch this video to learn how to trim the felt on your timpani mallets
Keep Your Mallets in a Case
If you keep your mallets trimmed and in a case or mallet bag when they’re not being played with, you’ll be able to keep them clean and they’ll last longer.
Use a Separate Case for Your Different Types of Mallets
When you are starting out as a percussionist and you only have a few pairs of mallets then don’t worry about this. You can keep a small collection in one case or mallet bag and they’ll be fine. But, as you start to add to your collection of sticks and you accumulate a bunch of timpani stick, marimba mallets, drum sticks, xylophone mallets, etc. you should consider getting a separate mallet case for your timpani mallets and a separate case for your other mallets.
A mallet case just keeps things neater and it’s easier to keep a handle on the maintenance issues.
Here are some Mallet Case Suggestions
The Vic FIrth SBAG2 Stick Bag holds 24 pairs of sticks and mallets and contains two small accessory pockets. This bag works really well because its light, I can see my mallets easily without digging through a big box where what I’m looking for might be way down deep.
I like to have two or three small mallet cases. I keep most of my mallets at home in a couple of cases and then when I need to go to a gig I’ll choose a dozen or so mallets that I think I’ll need for the type of gig that I’m going to be playing.
In other words, there’s no point if bringing 5 pairs of soft timpani mallets if I’m playing an all Beethoven/Mozart program, so I’ll put my classical sounding sticks in my Vic Firth SBAG 2 that costs about $45 and I’ll be all set.
If you want a hard case, look at the Weiss Hard Stick and Mallet Case for $99 at Steve Weiss Music.
The Freer Hard case available at Freer Percussion is nice but for me it’s a little heavy. Freer makes a soft version of this case that is more appealing and at $90 from their web site it’s a good deal.