Repair Posts

Troubleshooting Common Timpani Issues

 

Common Timpani Issues

 

With the school year well underway, you may start to notice some issues with your timpani after they sat around all summer not being used. Timpani are one of the more misunderstood percussion instruments with regards to function and reparability, but knowing some common issues that occur can give you a better understanding of what to check.

 

            Issue #1 – The Pedals Slip (Won’t stay in position)

 

When the pedal on timpani is not holding either in the high or low position it is more often than not related to the range of the drums.  Over time, the heads continue to stretch and can cause the drums to become out of range and thus not allowing spring and head to be balanced with tension.  This is the first thing to check if you have pedal issues.  You should check that the lowest note on each drum is correct as seen below:

 

 

If the pedal slips forward from the lowest position, it likely means that the drum is too low and needs to be brought up to the correct low note.  Holding the pedal in the heel down (low position) make small adjustments to each tension rod until you have the lowest note.

 

If the pedal is moving back from the upper position, it likely means you need to add a little bit of tension to the spring.  However, it is important to check the low note and make sure you have this first.  If the low note is correct, adjust the spring.

 

 

Issue #2 – The Pedal is Hard to Move or is Stuck

 

This can be caused by many things, but the first thing to check is that nothing appears to be broken or snapped as this can cause things to stop working completely.  More than likely, the balance between the head and spring are not correct so checking these first is a good idea.  Other things to check would be the braking systems being to tight and thus not allowing the pedals to move freely.  On Ludwig drums this can be found under the pedal while on Yamaha drums this is often found near the center under the bowl.

 

            Issue #3 – The Drums Won’t Stay in Tune

 

If you are having issues with the drums constantly going low after tuning them up it likely means you are in need of a head change.  Timpani heads should be changed every one to two years depending on your daily usage.

 

If you just changed the heads recently and they just don’t sound great or don’t seem to hold a pitch well they likely need to be cleared and tuned up by a professional.  Since the process of clearing and getting timpani in tune with themselves can be tricky it is best to have someone familiar with the process check out the drums.

 

If you notice something that is not listed here, it is likely something that will need to be inspected and serviced by a professional repair technician. You may find yourself understanding what the cause of the issue may be but not confident in fixing the issue.  Give us a call at 317-813-2070 and we can make a visit to your school to ensure your timpani are in top working condition.

 

Brian Travelsted

Percussion Repair Technician

brian@chopspercussion.com

 

 

 

 

July 2019 News at Chops

Marching Snare Head Feature: Remo Suede Max

We get many calls this time of year regarding snare head choices. There are many tried and true products out there, but there is one newer option that is quickly becoming the choice of marching groups everywhere: the Remo Suede Max batter head.

[Learn more]


It’s Vintage: Restoring a Ludwig Drum Set

If you are in the market for some new percussion gear for your upcoming marching band season, now is the time to take advantage of these great prices. Cap City Indoor used the gear this past indoor season, the gear is in great shape, and we just reduced the prices.

[Learn more]


Product Spotlight: Tama’s Dyna-Sync Bass Drum Pedals

We’re excited to talk about Tama’s brand new Dyna-Sync bass drum pedals. These pedals were unveiled at Winter NAMM this past January, and there was a lot of buzz surrounding them. I can tell you after putting my own foot on one the buzz was deserved!

[Learn more]

It’s Vintage: Restoring a Ludwig Drum Set

Every once in a while we will get a call from a customer that is somewhat out of the ordinary.  I recently visited a local summer camp that had a few drum sets that were in need of some work.  When I arrived to inspect the drums I was able to piece back together two drum sets that needed new heads and cleaned.  I was not expecting to find a vintage set of drums. The 1967 Ludwig Club Date that I found had all the original parts except for the cymbal arm and a hoop on the mounted tom.  While I knew it would be a challenge, I was determined to make these drums look and sound great again.  Below is a basic breakdown of the steps taken to get the drums back into excellent condition.

Get Your Percussion Equipment Evaluations and On-Site Repairs done this summer

Summer break is right around the corner and there’s no better time to get your instruments evaluated than now! Chops Percussion and Paige’s Music’s repair department are willing to send a trained specialist to your school to assess your percussion inventory.

Brian Travelsted, our percussion repair specialist and sales associate for Chops, will work with you in deciding the best course of action to get your inventory back in its best shape! Paige’s Music offers on-site repair for large percussion instruments such as timpani, mallet instruments, concert bass drums, etc. This service is intended to alleviate the need to send in large instruments with your District Manager and be without them for several weeks. If an instrument is not repairable, Brian will recommend the best replacement options to best suit your ensemble’s needs.

No more waiting for your large instruments or going without because the instrument is waiting in the shop! Small percussion instruments can be paired with a large percussion instrument request for added value. If interested in an equipment evaluation or on-site repairs, please email Brian at btravelsted@chopspercussion.com for more information.

What’s Old is New – Getting Rid of Rust

A majority of percussion equipment contains some type of metal that is prone to developing rust after years of wear and tear.  This could be an old snare drum with rusted out lugs, rusty rims and rust on the shell, or an old set of bells that has lost its shine. Don’t let the rust stand in the way of an instrument being used properly and sounding great.  With a little bit of time and some elbow grease you can make those OLD instruments look and sound NEW again.

You can quickly and effectively remove rust on your percussion equipment by following a few steps:

Step 1: Remove parts from the instrument so that all areas can be exposed to cleaning.  Do not try to clean or remove rust with parts still attached the instrument.  For instance, remove all lugs from the drum so they can be cleaned individually and all the way around.