Caring for your Instrument
It’s important to keep your steel drum in a place where it will not be touched by anyone who doesn’t know how to use it. By far the most common way these instruments are knocked out of tune is when unsupervised novices smack on the drum thinking it can be hit hard.
The note surfaces should only be touched by the tips of the mallets provided with the drum. Acid from your fingers can damage the finish over time.
Your drum should not be kept in sunlight hot enough to be uncomfortably hot to the touch. This will loosen the metal and cause the pitch to drop and make the drum susceptible to being knocked out of tune. If playing under direct summer sun, try to find shade if possible and cover the instrument when not playing.
Steel drums need to be professionally tuned about as often as guitars need to be brought in for regular maintenance and the costs are similar. Normally, drums need tuning about once a year as long as they have been properly cared for.