Any important investment should be cared for. Your V.P. drums actually are gallery quality, so we hope you’ll treat them as such. Like a fine guitar, occasionally they need to be wiped with a soft cloth. Since they are so big, we lay them on a thick towel with foam rubber underneath to buff them by hand. You can use any auto polish without abrasives, unless of course you have scratches to remove. The finish becomes brighter the more it’s buffed, just like a car.
I cannot stress enough the importance of oiling your lug bolts. We use Napa Sil-Glyde in the 4 oz. tube. You can use just about anything. 3 in 1 oil, Never Sez, graphite. Just use it! Whenever you feel friction when your tightening the heads, that’s the message. The tremendous forces placed upon those bolts & nuts can make your nuts cease. Keep your nuts cool & everybody will be happy.
Temperature & Humidity
No wooden drum can ever be totally protected from the elements. We’ve never had a problem with our drum shells and shouldn’t. Just use common sense. If your traveling, put the drum in an insulated gig bag. If your flying, put the drum in gig bag and a hard case. You can’t expect drums to survive temperatures of 150 degrees or greater. One inexpensive hard case is a Rubbermaid 40 or 50 gal. container. The handles are vented and their affordable.
I’m not gonna tell you how to tune, but please, when you put that 1/2” wrench on those nuts, remember where you started tightening or loosening and go around the drum. A year from now you won’t be sayin, how come the rims so crooked? Tighten & loosen evenly and it won’t happen.
Now here’s the most important part of tuning. I know your bushed, and just wanna pack up and get out of that dive you’ve been playin in all night, but wait! “Loosen those heads man”. Some of you guys got some of the deepest collars on your drums. Ya just keep stretchin & stretchin that skin til it Moo’s. Then your beatin the life out of your hands tryin to get that cow to talk to you! Get a new head and start all over again. You got some stress going on with that hardware. That’s why we put those reinforcement plates on the inside of the drum. So hopefully,you folks won’t rip the face plates right out of the drums. Here’s a scenario: a guy finishes playin for the night & leaves the drums tuned. He sticks um in his car in the truck. Drives to the desert, leaves um in the car until 1:00p.m. the next day. Well, it’s 180 degrees in the trunk or more. Whatta ya think happened to the drums? We don’t wanna go there!
Oiling Drum Heads
The truth is, if your playing or practicing like your supposed to be doing, you don't need to oil the heads. The oils from your hands will do the job for you in the best way. When confronted with a used dry head, sometimes do to quality or age, we've been using a product called Brazilian Nut Dry Oil. www.naterra.com Sold at Walmart. This is one perfect oil for any skin. Made of Shea butter, Brazilian nut oil and vitamin E. It leaves no oily residue and even smells kind of sexy! If you don't care for a little sexy smelling conga drums, try looking for shea butter without fragrance. Highly recommended.