Protecting Your Hands and the Drum in the Winter
The winter can present some challenges for drums and drumming, not only because winter weather can dry out your skin, but because of the temperature dips and increased moisture in the morning air. Many drums (especially natural skinned drum heads and wood cajon surfaces) will take moisture out of your fingers and palms. Here are some drumming tips to help make your winter drumming enjoyable.
Use natural shea butter to protect your hands. Just rub a small amount on your hands before drumming and let it soak into the skin. It won't hurt your drum head at all.
It's always better to cover your drums with a drum "hat" or better yet, a drum case... especially if the drums are to be kept in non-insulated environment.
Keep sensitive drums inside your house. Drums with synthetic heads are usually fine if stored in the garage or in the car. However, if your garage has alot of cold air and moisture, this can affect any kind of drum after a while. Again, I recommend a case whenever possible.
Keep your drums out of the rain and inclement weather. If you are outside drumming and it gets damp, dry your drum off as soon as you can.
If your natural drum head has lost pitch because of the cold or dampness, you can always let the drum dry out in the sun for about 15 minutes... indoors or out, the sun will bring your drum head back to life. When you are done, store your drum away again in a temperature controlled space.
If you haven't bought a drum yet, consider a drum from Remo Inc. The have tested their drums to be durable and they hold their tune better in various weather conditions because the drum head is not soaking up moisture. They make great sounding djembes such as my favorite, the Remo Mondo Djembe which is tunable with a drum key. I prefer the green kinte finish with either a 12" or 14" head. Those who like Buffalo Drums might want to check out the Remo Bahia (black) Buffalo Drum.