Shamanic drums are beautiful, sacred instruments. Here’s how to take care of a shamanic drum, so it can sing its healing, enchanting songs for decades to come.
Shamanic drums are beautiful, sacred instruments. You should treat them with the utmost respect, as you would a fellow human—another life.
After you’ve chosen the perfect shamanic drum, it’s important to learn how to handle its general upkeep—here’s how to take care of a shamanic drum.
Transport It Carefully
If you plan to frequently transport your instrument from place to place, protective cases are a must. Blankets, shawls, or scarves are fine for shorter trips, where your drum will remain in your hands or lap for the entire duration.
If you’re traveling down bumpy, hilly roads, secure your drum as best as possible. Buckle it into a seat (if it fits) to ensure it isn’t being constantly bumped and tossed about.
Moisturize the Hide
A dry drum can take on a peculiar tone. To restore the instrument’s original sound, you’ll want to remoisturize it.
You can moisturize your drum’s hide using the natural oils of your palm. Rub your hand over the head in a repetitive, circular motion, until the surface appears sleek and less taut.
If it’s excessively dry, you can use other natural oils, like light olive oil or shea butter. A drum will only require serious remoisturizing once or twice a year.
Don’t Let the Weather Wear It Down
Drums, like humans, are subject to the current weather conditions. If you’re playing outside, there are certain considerations to keep in mind. The instrument’s hide can tighten or loosen depending on the temperature and humidity, which can significantly change its tone.
It’s recommended to keep your instrument stored within its bag or blanket when not in use. Don’t leave it in the damp grass or sitting under the hot sun without protection.
If it’s too cold, keep your drum close to your chest. This will provide it with constant, natural body heat. Playing by a fire on a chilly night? Slide the drum slightly closer to the fire when it begins to slacken.
If it’s warm and humid, keep a spray bottle filled with water. A quick misting will loosen your drum’s head.
Store It Somewhere Cool and Safe
Another tip for taking care of a shamanic drum is to properly store it.
Ideally, you’ll want to store your instrument in an area that’s secure, has a mild temperature, and is relatively dry. A storage closet, attic space, or well-maintained shed are ideal. If you have a blanket or special bag to wrap or store your drum in, do so.
Don’t store it in an area that’s prone to heavy temperature fluctuations or overexposed to nature.
Heat dries the drum’s hide, which tightens it. A small, controlled amount of warmth is a fantastic way to tune your instrument’s sound — but if it’s exposed too much, and for far too long, the drum runs the risk of sustaining unfixable damage.
On the other hand, cold, damp conditions can cause your drum’s tone to sound flat.