Thanks for the post, Andy!
Hand care is a topic that comes up regularly in my clinics and workshops.
I’ve also heard that urinating on our hands will toughen them; something that I have no intention of ever finding out! An old-school conguero once tole me long ago to spend at least 30 minutes a day hitting a hardwood board - something else I never felt moved to do; I’d much rather spend the time hitting my drum heads.
Basically, we toughen our hands by playing. Of course, it is important to reinforce effective hand drumming techniques as we play in order to be mindful of how we are using our hands, to get the best sounds out of our instruments, to play musically and to show respect for the traditions of the instruments.
As the great American opera singer Beverly Sills once stated, “There is no shortcut to any place worth going.”
I do regularly use various products on my hands to keep them in good shape. My favorites are:
vitamin e oil, Burt’s Bees creams, Bag Balm (used by dairy farmers to keep cows’ udders from getting chapped and infected - insert your preferred joke here) and any lotion with lanolin.
Like any craftspeople, it is important to take care of our tools!
Here is an article I wrote on hand care for hand drummers:
All the best,