Winter check list for pandeiros, hide head and wood instruments
Whilst outside winter has decided to resurrect and the temperatures have sunk massively, it is worth picking up your pandeiro, wood instruments with hide heads or cavaquinhos and run a quick winter check:
❄️ is the head sufficiently loosened
❄️ storage in protection bag or case
❄️ not close to a radiator or heat source
❄️ at as constant as possible temperature
First, check if the heads are properly relaxed. Dry winter air causes hide heads to tighten so strongly that the tension might even cause its tearing. Protection bags and cases help maintain a more constant climate for sensitive instruments. In any case, pandeiro & co should be stored away from radiators and heating sources.
Prone to tear and break in winter: pandeiros, berimbaus, instrumente with hide heads and string instruments
You don't need to apply any other special care to your instrument, usually, your hand's natural oils are sufficient to keep natural heads soft and elastic. Wood also has a natural elasticity tolerance as long as it's not overstressed with humidity- and temperature changes.
However, also berimbaus and cavaquinhos are affected by the dry winter air. The verga's natural wood core can break in too dry surrounding and cavaquinhos are - like basically all string instruments - particularly sensitive and should therefore always be stored in a bag or a case, away from the radiator. You'll probably know all this already, natural materials react to humidity- and temperature changes, and if you remember these few tips, your instruments will be fine!