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Warning: Are you moving your timpani correctly?
By Yamaha
5/5/2015 6:17:00 AM

The fine folks at Yamaha have put together a great article about moving your timpani. If you have any other additional questions please feel free to contact us at 866-849-4387 or service@percussionsource.com!

Damages caused to timpani can be expensive and most are caused by carelessly moving the drums from gig to gig. In an effort to prevent frequent damages, we here at Yamaha have put together a convenient, all-in-one checklist for healthy care of timpani for the timpani player on the move.

Prepping the Move

Know the route and ask yourself if you need:

  • A hand truck, cart or truck
  • Packing blankets
  • Straps or tie-downs
  • Helpers

Step One

Adjust the pedal to the highest position to protect it from hitting the ground and to brace the head for any stress it may endure.

Step Two

Remove mallet bags and accessories from the instrument to avoid losing any mallets or damaging the bags.

Step Three: The Physical Move

  • Move slowly and carefully while transporting the drum. This simple step will prevent most accidents.
  • Hold the drum by their STRUTS at all times and avoid touching the drum head. Pulling by the drum head may cause permanent damage to the hoop and distort the pitch of the drum.



  • Use a truck with a lift gate or with a location that has a loading dock.
  • Be sure to lift timpani by their struts when you load and unload.
  • Always use moving blankets to cover each drum completely.
  • Lock wheels when drums are resting inside the truck.
  • Tie down each drum separately to floor/wall and not to each other.
  • Use straps or tie-downs on the struts only, avoiding rods, cables, and hoops.
  • Ensure nothing will fall on or bump into the timpani.

General Guidelines and Recommendations

  • The head of the timpani are never meant to act as tables, so do not let anything rest directly on the head.
  • Cover the heads when not playing the timpani.
  • Wheels are the most crucial part of the timpani when it comes to moving. If one or more become lost or broken, a new one can be conveniently purchased from your local music dealer.
  • Realize that timpani may become out of tune after any move, so allow time to adjust the gauges after you arrive before any performance or rehearsal.
  • Use the appropriate moving materials, such as a truck, car, or hand truck when moving to avoid accidents and do so with enough personnel to facilitate the move.
  • Inspect the drums once a month or when a problem arises such as an unwanted rattle, squeak, or jammed pedal and note any missing or damaged parts that need replacement.
  • Check and clean the bottom of the drum after any move with a cloth. Have another person use a cushion to support the drum while it is on its side.
  • Timpani are designed to be moved and stored upright on their wheels. Any other position such as on the head or side will cause unwanted stress on the head and/or body of the drum.

Following these simple steps will prevent the majority of common timpani damage and keep them looking and sounding brand new even after years of play!

The original publication of this blog can be found are Yamaha Corporation of America's website: http://yamahacorpus.tumblr.com/post/115228862461/how-to-move-timpani-correctly

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