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HI: Just joined the group, and happy to be here. I have a Walton drum purchased in Hailifax. Goat skin head. My question: Other than Walton, are there any other drum head dressings available in the USA and maybe a bit more reasonable? (And I'd rather DRINK my Guiness, so forget that one) I have no grievance with Walton, but just looking for something a little more convenience. I've heard about using lanolin (as pure as possible). What are opinions about that? Thanks


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Hello Fred,

The only maintenance and care a good drum needs, is to play it as often as possible :-).

Cheaper non tunable drums sometimes do need a bit of help.
I assume you have a non tunable Walton's. If you want to improve the sound, try sanding the skin with a fine sandpaper (p400) on both sides of the skin and then try taping the sides with electrical tape. If you can get it, try 3M super88 tape. It's available in various sizes. For the waltons i think about one inch width is the handiest. I tried all this with my old Waltons and it has improved a lot.

I think lanolin is used to permanently tune down a drum, but i don't know if it's adviseable.
If you go to there is a discussion going on this topic and on as well.


I'll also leave you a "before" and "after" picture of what i did to the walton's.

waltons bodhran

Waltons bodhran getaped


Fred, welcome to the site, you could try GLYCERINE this gives the drum a nice deep tone it is also a preservative for the skin, i have used this for 25 years i used to use Guiness this only gave the skin a nice brown colour but aftar a while it went all sticky and started to smell real bad and at the price you pay, i agree drink it and enjoy, i have not used lanolin so i will look out for comments about that
Hi Fred:
The first time I picked up a bodhran was also in Halifax. YEAHHHH Halifax! Now I play in a fiddle band in the Ottawa Valley. Both of my good bodhrans are Brendan Whites, made to order. One is a double skin. The other is a triple. One was around $700.00 US the other was closer to $1,000.00 US. I also bought a no-good drum at a folklore store for $100.00 to see if I liked drumming and to learn on. It played like a cardboard pizza box. You get what you pay for. Brendan Whites are tuneable and top of the line. I can and do play scales on them. Rich and deep and mellow. I tried lanolin cleaner. It left a crappy sticky film on them that sucked up dirt and then I had to scrape it all off. Better is plain water. Best is nothing at all -- Wash your hands and tipper before playing and then the drums dont get dirty. Store in a drum case.


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