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Welcome to Part 2 of our Tubano Care and Maintenance seriesOur 3-part series brings you advice and instructions to care for Remo Key-Tuned Tubano models. In this part, we discuss how to replace broken hardware including handles and assemblies, how to replace a head, and how to tune your drums. For tips on Tubano storage, cleaning, and mobility, visit Part 1 by clicking the link.

Replacing Tubano Handles

There are 2 different styles of Remo Key-Tuned Tubano handles. Models made after 2013 have the newer-style. In the past, you would have needed to know which style of handle you had for replacement. This is no longer the case. If you are replacing a handle on either model, Remo has a handle to fit both versions! The handle pack includes both handle and the necessary hardware. 

Watch this video for instructions on how to replace your Tubano handles. Before you get started, it is important to note there are some additional tools needed for the handle replacement:

  • 1/8 Allen Wrench
  • Pliers

Replacing Tubano Drumheads

The new models of Key-tuned Tubanos come equipped with Mondo Nuskyn Tubano synthetic drumheads.  These heads have a natural, warm tone, and provide great low to mid-range tones without the piercing high overtones. The drumhead is highly resilient and provides years of great sound. The drumhead is made of an Acousticon shell and has a ½ inch support rim on the outer perimeter to allow for easy applications of the tension ring. The tension ring holds the head on in connection with the tension assemblies (either the contouring or tension brackets depending on the “born-on” date of the Tubano). 

What’ll you need to replace your broken head: 

Replacement drumheads 


Tuning Tubanos

Fresh-out-of-the-box Tubanos do not need to be tuned immediately. Remo has already torqued them with the optimal tension needed for that specific drums’ tonal range. Because of this, they automatically sound amazing! 

If your drums start sounding like a tabletop or thuds, it’s time to tune! When it is time to tune, first let your drums acclimate to your room for a few days.

Step 1: Organize Your Tubanos

First, group your Tubanos together by sizes, 10″- high, 12″-medium, and 14″ low. 

Step 2: Select Your Reference Drum

Let’s start with the medium 12” Tubanos. Find the medium (12”) drum that sounds the best to you and use that as your reference point. The goal is to match the “tone” of your selected reference drum across the board.

Step 3: Tune the 12”- Medium Tubanos

Choose the best tuning method for your personal preference. One method is to tighten in a “star” or “steering wheel” pattern. Another option is to tune around the instrument in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner, lug by lug. Using your 12″- medium reference drum, begin tuning each drum individually by turning the swivel key a ¼, ½, or full turn per lug to evenly distribute the tension across the drum. By striking the drumhead nearest the lug you’ll get an idea of how much tension is on that lug as compared to the other lugs. Use the sound at each lug as your guide for how far to tighten each lug. To help the distribution of the tension you can press down firmly into the center of the drumhead to evenly stretch out and balance the sound. Then follow suit with the remaining 12″-medium Tubanos. 

Step 4: Tune the 14”- Low Tubanos

Next, move onto the low (14”) drum. Pick the Tubano that sounds a Major 4th below the 12”-medium Tubanos. Another method is to choose the 14”-low Tubano that sounds best compared to your tuned 12” Tubanos.  This is a personal sound preference, pick the drum that best resonates with you. Tune the remainder of the low Tubanos to that particular drum.

Step 5: Tune the 10”- High Tubanos

Last, conquer your 10″- high Tubanos. The same premise applies as the 14″- low Tubanos.  Choose a drum sounding pleasing to your ear, or best matching a fourth above the 12” – medium Tubano. Again, this is a personal sound preference. Tune the single 10″- high drum, then move on to tune the remaining 10″ – high Tubanos. 

Ultimately, it’s what sounds good to you. It doesn’t always have to be perfect unless you’re playing in a key that won’t intermix well. Let the drum sing, vibrate, and demonstrate its resonance! Tune as needed.  


To watch and learn more about how to tune Tubanos to blend well together watch the video below.

Thank you to Paul Corbiere, World Music Drumming faculty member, and music teacher extraordinaire for assisting with our videos in this blog. To learn more about the World Music Drumming workshops visit  

Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Tubano Care and Maintenance series in which we address how to repair a damaged Tubano foot.