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View Full Version : How to clear timpani



blade123
10-25-2008, 04:14 PM
We have some really nice timpani at my school and I want to keep them that way.
Last year I cleared the timpani somewhat, but looking back I know I screwed up a bit (I tuned it like I would a tom, I hit at the edge. I should have hit more towards the middle). Also, some dumbass left a huge pile of stuff on one over the summer (I had to tighten the timpani by hand, that's how loose it was).
Do you just get a tuning fork and timpani key and tune it until it matches or what?
I've been wanting to clear them for awhile, they sound a bit muddy.

DrumYoda
10-25-2008, 10:43 PM
Are you planning on replacing the heads on the drums? I ask as many feel that once a timpano has been initially tuned, the only way to truly clear the head and thus the drum is to replace the head with a new one. That is why most timpanist take quite a while when installing new heads because it is a complicated process and one that is easily ruined.

blade123
10-25-2008, 10:48 PM
Are you planning on replacing the heads on the drums? I ask as many feel that once a timpano has been initially tuned, the only way to truly clear the head and thus the drum is to replace the head with a new one. That is why most timpanist take quite a while when installing new heads because it is a complicated process and one that is easily ruined.
No, I just want to retune the current ones, they are way out of tune.

David Hollywood
10-30-2008, 10:21 AM
Have you looked at this? Tom Freer knows a LOT about timpani:

http://www.pearldrum.com/03_nuupdts/edu/PDF_files/freer_timpheads.pdf

David Hollywood
10-30-2008, 10:22 AM
Also, some advice from Mark Wessels:

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/articles/replacing_timp_heads.html

The Village Idiot
10-09-2009, 05:56 PM
Ask the director to get a tension tuner.

We have one and the timpani's always sound great.