How long does a head last? What should I do for maintaining it?
It depends on how often the taiko is played. In general, a head of taiko get loose gradually as you play it. A taiko with such loosened heads surely looses its resonance and produces just low, dead sound. That is a sign of that the head outlived its usefulness. If the head has ear(surplus at the rim), usually it can be tightened up again with a special instrument at taiko shop. That way is much cheaper than changing to a new head. You don't need to worry about maintaining a head too much. If the heads of Taiko got wet, dry the taiko in the shade. On the contrary, if they are dry too much, rub it with a moist towel. Be sure that the towel is not too wet; otherwise, the heads will loose their strength.
The heads of my taiko got loose. What should I do?
If the head has ear(surplus at the rim, usually shaped like a tube), it can be tightened up again with a special instrument at Taiko shop. However, you have to change it to new one in case its condition is too bad to be beaten continuously. Taiko Center can fix it for domestic customers. Please inquire of us.
The heads of my taiko got loose after I left it under the flaming sun. Why?!
It seems that the heads or body of the taiko had got moist before you left it under the sun. If such a wet taiko is dried suddenly, its heads often become uneven or loose. Cover the taiko with a case or blanket to protect from the direct sunlight in case you have to leave under the sun. If the heads of taiko got moist, dry the taiko in the shade avoiding wet place. If the heads soaked in the rain, wipe up wet completely with a soft dry towel as immediately as possible and dry it in the shade.
The head of my taiko tore.
A Taiko head is expendable. You have to replace it to a new one. Even if just one head tore, you should not leave it; the Taiko with a tore head tends to loose its primary tone. Replacing to a new head is, in short, the only solution to the problem. If the head of taiko tore within a year after you bought it, it seems that the head was defective in nature (of course, it depends on how often you play). You should inquire of the shop you bought the taiko.
The surface of the head split finely. Is something wrong?
Usually the surface of a new head is even and slick. As you play the taiko, the surface of its head becomes rough. That's normal, if anything, it's a sign of that the taiko is ready to speak its real sound. A head of new taiko is, generally, stretched extra-hard and its sound is a little high-pitched. The head gets tamed and steadies in an ideal tension after it is played for a certain period. However, if a head gets scratched due to using split bachis or dragging on the ground, it is a different story. In case the head is scratched badly and weakened, you should replace it to a new one; otherwise, there is a great risk of your ruing performance due to the tore head.
I want to erase the graffiti written on the head.
If the graffiti is written with water paint, it is mostly erased by rubbing softly with a wet towel. However, it's written with a acryl or oil-based paint, it will be hardly rubbed out with just a wet towel. In such a case, you need to rub it with small-grit sandpaper (from 800 to 1200) or waterproof paper like drawing a circle. Be careful not to shave it too much to avoid loosing its durability. NEVER use detergent or bleach; those chemicals will harm the head.
How can I clean the dirt on the head?
As a taiko is played for years, its heads surely get dirt and tanned. Many taiko players love the look of such experienced heads. If you dare to clean it, you can do so by rubbing it gently with small-grit sandpaper (from 800 to 1200) or waterproof paper like drawing a circle. Be careful not to shave it too much to avoid loosing its durability. NEVER use detergent or bleach; those chemicals will reduce the durability of the head.