Since Idiopans are made out of steel, they are a very resilient instrument, but there are still some tricks to make sure your Idiopan maintains it's good looks along with its sound. These tricks include care for your Idiopan's finish, it's magnets, and proper placement for playing.
All Idiopans are finished with a powder coating that makes them shine and keep your drums from being affected by weather conditions and rust. They're even able to be played in water! Though they are protected, they aren't completely invincible, as they are prone to scratching when in contact with abrasive surfaces or objects. Additionally, if you're trying to keep your Idiopan nice, shiny, and smudge-free from playing with your hands, you will need a microfiber cloth and hard-shell car wax. Here are the steps to properly clean and care for your Idiopan's finish:
1. Dampen a small area on the microfiber cloth with the wax (keep in mind a little bit goes a long way).
2. Apply wax evenly around the surface of the drum you want to clean first. Be careful not to get the wax in between the tongues or under the band, as it is a pain to get out once it dries.
3. Use a dry part of the microfiber cloth to rub in the wax evenly and in a circular motion. Keep doing this until there is no residue of the wax left.
4. Repeat for other side's surface and your drum should be smooth, shiny, and smudge-free!
The hard shell wax will provide an additional coating to help prevent the drum from scratching, but if you're in a rush, wiping your Idiopan down with a dry microfiber cloth will at least get most smudges off.
Now that keeping your Idiopan looking great is out of the way, more importantly, you want to make sure that your Idiopan sounds great at all times too! The first step in this is making sure that there isn't any debris in between the tongues, for even small debris can can stop a tongue from ringing out and cause buzz. If there does happen to be debris that gets in between the tongues, the easiest way to fix this is by using a thin sheet of paper or card, and moving it in between and along the tongue to make sure all debris is dislodged and out of there. Aside from debris, you want to always make sure the magnet under each tongue is centered as best as possible. If it happens to get in between the tongue and the body, like debris, it will cause a buzz.
Always keep in mind that these magnets are very delicate and powerful, so when you're tuning or adding additional magnets with an Advanced Magnet Pack, be very cautious. DO NOT let the magnets snap to one another or the surface of the drum because they may chip and break, which will make the magnet(s) unusable. I've found the best way to put a magnet on is to slowly approach the underside surface with the magnets edge and gradually slide the magnet on.
Next, when tuning the tongues, the magnets are meant to be slid towards and away from the center on the drum, keeping magnet centered to avoid it from being in between the tongue and the body. For more on tuning, check out the blog here.
Now that you know how to make your Idiopan look and sound great, you're ready to play! To play traditionally, place the Idiopan in your lap or on a stand with the biggest tongue facing towards you. The Idiopan's scale pattern goes in a zig-zag pattern, much like most other tongue drums. All Idiopans come tuned to a pentatonic scale (the key of which varies with the size/model.), making them easy to play pleasant tones, no matter what tongue you hit.
Idiopans can be stored just about anywhere due to their durable nature, but it's always best to keep them protected in a gig-bag. All gig bags can be found on our accessories page. If you have any additional questions about caring for your Idiopan, please feel free to message us here!