How to store handpans, steel drums and tongue drums
As professionals, we must stress the importance of storing your percussion instrument properly to ensure its longevity. Whether you own a Handpan, Steel Tongue Drum or Steel Drum, it is essential to follow certain recommendations and basic principles to avoid damaging your precious instrument. Fortunately, you've come to the right place for all the advice you need to store your instrument properly. We've put together some best practices for you to preserve the quality of your instrument and extend its life.
So, without further ado, check out our tips on how to store your favourite percussion instrument properly and ensure that it stays in top condition for years to come!
Ensure the longevity of your percussion with proper storage
Whether you are a new handpan or steel tongue drum owner or already own a percussion instrument, it is important to know how to properly store your instrument on a daily basis. In addition to regular maintenance, proper storage is essential to ensure a long life and good condition of your instrument.
All instruments, no matter how good, require some care as they are often fragile. Although a tongue drum is generally considered to be a robust instrument, the thin vibrating membrane of handpans and steel drums makes them particularly susceptible to impact. It is therefore wise to handle your instrument with care and store it in a safe place to avoid damage.
In short, taking care of your percussion instrument is taking care of your passion for music. By storing it properly, you can extend its life and enjoy it for many years to come.
How to store my handpan, tongue drum or steel drum
What to avoid
- Store your tongue drum or handpan upside down. It sounds logical, but prevention is better than cure! Indeed, if too much pressure is put on the ding, or on a note, your instrument is likely to go out of tune. The steel drum is also concerned, especially if it is a tenor model.
- Put your instrument in its bag when it is wet. There is a real risk of corrosion and deterioration of the surface due to fungus. In other words: to avoid rust or other stains, avoid storing your instrument in a humid environment.
- Store your handpan, steel tongue drum or steel drum for a long time in its case, or any kind of closed, dark bag. Again, it is good for your instrument to "breathe", so put your percussion instrument in its case to protect it from shocks when you are out and about, but try if possible to leave it safely out of its case when you are at home. If this is not possible for you, then take your instrument out of its case from time to time and check that its surface condition is not deteriorating.
- Place your instrument against a radiator or too close to any other major heat source. The heat may cause the metal of your instrument to expand, which could cause it to go out of tune.
What we suggest you do
- Store your handpan or tongue drum in the open air, in a dry storage area. However, if the environment you live in is humid and/or the air is too salty, for example by the sea, it is best to store your handpan in a cupboard with a moisture absorber next to it. Make sure you clean it regularly and protect it with oil.
- Hang your handpan on a dedicated wall bracket. There are handpan brackets available (or you can make your own). This is certainly one of the best ways to store your instrument safely, away from potential knocks. Depending on your tongue drum model this option is also possible. For the steel drum, leave it on its stand in a corner of a room where it is safe.
- Store your instrument on a shelf. This can be a dedicated shelf for a handpan or tongue drum, but you can also use a standard shelf, which is large enough to hold your instruments.
In summary, the storage conditions of your instrument are far from being a mere detail. Proper storage will ensure the longevity of your handpan, tongue drum, or steel drum! Keep the following four things in mind and your percussion will thank you.
Use a case or carrying case to protect your instrument from scratches, bumps, and external elements such as moisture and heat.
Avoid storing your instrument in damp or extreme temperatures, as this can cause long-term damage. Obviously do not put your instrument in a bag if it is damp or dirty.
If you have to store your instrument for a long period of time, be sure to clean it thoroughly before storing it. Remove dust, dirt and fingerprints to avoid stains and damage.
Avoid storing your instrument in a cluttered area where it could be knocked over or damaged. Find a safe place where it will be protected from harm.
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