Removable taps

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It is a common problem with hand-tuned timpani that after a concert, when a drum is sounding great, you put it away in its case and then, during transport, some of the taps get accidentally turned by unequal amounts.  The next day, you take the drum out of its case to find that it doesn’t have a true note any more.  After many frustrating experiences I wanted to find a way around this.  On tour, inevitably drums suffer from big temperature changes, especially when flying, but this is manageable provided that the head stays in tune with itself.

After the concert you leave the drum on a low-ish note and take all the removable taps out.  The next day, even if the drum has gone extremely low in pitch, by taking it up an exactly even amount on each tap you know that the tension will be even, and the time it will take for the drum to settle and produce a decent note will be drastically reduced.

Pete Woods (of Henry Potter) and I worked on various designs before coming up with this one and I am very glad to say that it has absolutely transformed my life on tour!  Removable taps can be fitted to work with most types of tap/fitting at a cost of £55 per tap.

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