Drum Tuning Bible

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks John - good to read it again, & a useful encouragement for many to take a methodical approach + get to know their instrument's capabilities. Statements in the drum construction section, & observations on shell depth don't sit well with me though.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
I printed a copy of it a few years ago, but can't seem to find it. ;-)

The DTB works OK for me - a basement dweller flailing a Y-SC kit.

I thought I found an updated DTB a while back - this version seems to be circa 2005, though I don't recall if it trumps the original. Here's the address to the thread with a valid link:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75358
 

Dick Gizinya

Junior Member
Thank all of you. Always nice even for an experienced, read: old, Drummer to revisit quality information. Like a dog eared copy of " Stick Control".
 

esanger

Junior Member
Have a question..
Can someone explain "resonance" in this context? Is it just sustain?
 
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Dunnett

Classic Drumsmith
I got two paragraphs in and realized that with intel like this I'll be teaching my workshop for a long time.

Let's start with this - first, you don't tune a drum - you tension it. Second you don't tune a drum - you tension a series of drums to a desirable intervals (and this was mentioned)

The comments regarding die cast and triple flange hoops are simply not accurate.

This is just one individual's ideas and notions. Nothing to get caught up in.
 

Dunnett

Classic Drumsmith
Snare side heads are not resonant heads. They are an effect head.

There are no "loud" drums. Drums are acoustic instruments and volume is subject to kinetic energy input. That means it gets louder the harder you hit it.

If you don't hit it, it is extremely quiet. If you hit it with a pillow, it will also be relatively quiet. If you hit it with a tire jack wrench it will be loud. Once.

Never use plastic strips to attach snare wires.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Snare side heads are not resonant heads. They are an effect head.

There are no "loud" drums. Drums are acoustic instruments and volume is subject to kinetic energy input. That means it gets louder the harder you hit it.

If you don't hit it, it is extremely quiet. If you hit it with a pillow, it will also be relatively quiet. If you hit it with a tire jack wrench it will be loud. Once.

Never use plastic strips to attach snare wires.

Your comments make a lot of sense.

But why no plastic strips?


.
 

Dunnett

Classic Drumsmith
Your comments make a lot of sense.

But why no plastic strips?


.

Whenever I see a snare drum in a drum shop and it has plastic strips attaching the snare wires I know that the manufacturer doesn't really understand much about the product they are making or they just don't care and use the cheapest, easiest material they can find. Convenient for them and actually, convenient for me - I make drums and they make my customers.

One of the questions I get asked quite often has to do with snare wires not completely disengaging. "When I throw the wires off and hit the drum the wires are still slapping back.".

Plastic attachments act as springs. They never completely relax and so the wires are never fully released from the bottom head. It takes very little energy input to make the wires bounce upward and create that snare slapback. Apart from that, plastic strips have absolutely no flex. You want some flex to allow the snare set to move.

And while we are on the subject - stay away from that dam blue steel cable that Pures__t includes with their wires. That stuff acts like a cheese cutter on your edges and will eventually wear through the snare side head and chew into the snare bed. It is Purecrap and I have no idea why they still use that.

The best solution is 5/8" grosgrain (pronounced grow grain) polyester ribbon. You can find this almost anywhere - on ebay or at Michael's crafts etc. It costs about $3 for a roll that will last you years. It has some flex and it is exceptionally durable.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Whenever I see a snare drum in a drum shop and it has plastic strips attaching the snare wires I know that the manufacturer doesn't really understand much about the product they are making or they just don't care and use the cheapest, easiest material they can find.

The best solution is 5/8" grosgrain (pronounced grow grain) polyester ribbon.
Thank you so much for that information. Most of my snare drums have Grosgrain or the pink Ludwig string.
I'll check to see if any of them have plastic strips, and I'll get rid of the plastic.

Thanks !!!!!


.
 

belairien

Silver Member
Snare side heads are not resonant heads. They are an effect head.
Never use plastic strips to attach snare wires.
I googled this for sh*** and giggles. Nothing came up referring to them as effects heads.

Technically they do count as reso heads. With wires disengaged, it resonates.

I prefer the proper term of "snare side".

Never had issues with the plastic strips. Other than eventually breaking. But any material will eventually wear through.

I think of the DTB as a set of basic guidelines. It will get you started. The rest is experimentation.
 

Badmarx

Junior Member
Hi guys,

I have been reading this and other forums for a few months now. After a lengthy illness and time away from drumming due to life getting in the way (or more to the point, near death getting in the way of living) and have finally taken my pearl reference and mapex black panther out of their luggage and started setting up after a seven year absence from playing. The tune bot has really caught my eye and after getting one iv also decided to try Evans skins for the first time. I'm replacing all skins with g2 coated on the batter and g1 coated on the reso. But iv received the gift of clear resos too. I have 8" 10" 12" rag toms and a 14" floor Tom. The snare is the gold hardware black wooden premium black panther series. I know the first reference drums were an issue for tuning for some people but I love them and mine have about 4 days playing on them before I went away from drumming for the last few years. Up until then I was a two hours a day kinda guy.

I'm just wondering if anyone can lead me towards info that might serve as a guide/templet to tuning pitches using the tune bot on a reference and black panther . Iv tuned them to ear and love the sound of the coated resos( I know this isn't a norm) but it's a lovely warm tone with a reduction on overtones and sustain. Which I like but I'm not married to, it was just for the hell of it. For fun and experimenting il be changing heads around to finally get to play with the drums.

Thanks in advance and it's amazing to see how much drumming has changed while iv been ill. Any suggestions will be tried and messed around with as I love playing with tuning in general. I must about the snare is the issue I don't know if it's developed problems while the years rolled by but tuning it isn't going as planned or maybe I'm just out of practice. I'd just love to hear what sounds those of you that have similar kits have developed as I'm in a rush to catch up and start getting back to a regular session on the chair

Thanks mike
 

belairien

Silver Member
Hi guys,

I have been reading this and other forums for a few months now. After a lengthy illness and time away from drumming due to life getting in the way (or more to the point, near death getting in the way of living) and have finally taken my pearl reference and mapex black panther out of their luggage and started setting up after a seven year absence from playing. The tune bot has really caught my eye and after getting one iv also decided to try Evans skins for the first time. I'm replacing all skins with g2 coated on the batter and g1 coated on the reso. But iv received the gift of clear resos too. I have 8" 10" 12" rag toms and a 14" floor Tom. The snare is the gold hardware black wooden premium black panther series. I know the first reference drums were an issue for tuning for some people but I love them and mine have about 4 days playing on them before I went away from drumming for the last few years. Up until then I was a two hours a day kinda guy.

I'm just wondering if anyone can lead me towards info that might serve as a guide/templet to tuning pitches using the tune bot on a reference and black panther . Iv tuned them to ear and love the sound of the coated resos( I know this isn't a norm) but it's a lovely warm tone with a reduction on overtones and sustain. Which I like but I'm not married to, it was just for the hell of it. For fun and experimenting il be changing heads around to finally get to play with the drums.

Thanks in advance and it's amazing to see how much drumming has changed while iv been ill. Any suggestions will be tried and messed around with as I love playing with tuning in general. I must about the snare is the issue I don't know if it's developed problems while the years rolled by but tuning it isn't going as planned or maybe I'm just out of practice. I'd just love to hear what sounds those of you that have similar kits have developed as I'm in a rush to catch up and start getting back to a regular session on the chair

Thanks mike
Mike, welcome back to the drumming world! Always good to have more drummers. I don't have experience with the tune bot or tuning to specific pitches. I would check out YouTube for any videos on using it. The drum tuning bible also has good suggestions about pitch separation. They are approximations since drumes don't really tune to different notes.

As for the snare, if you need a new tone for it, I find tuning the snare side head to "table top" tight, then slowly raise the batter head till it sounds good makes a nice tight sound at any tuning.

Another great thing to find on YouTube are Bob Gatzen tuning videos.

Again, welcome back, and I am sure other more experienced members can help.
 

Badmarx

Junior Member
Hi guys,

I have been reading this and other forums for a few months now. After a lengthy illness and time away from drumming due to life getting in the way (or more to the point, near death getting in the way of living) and have finally taken my pearl reference and mapex black panther out of their luggage and started setting up after a seven year absence from playing. The tune bot has really caught my eye and after getting one iv also decided to try Evans skins for the first time. I'm replacing all skins with g2 coated on the batter and g1 coated on the reso. But iv received the gift of clear resos too. I have 8" 10" 12" rag toms and a 14" floor Tom. The snare is the gold hardware black wooden premium black panther series. I know the first reference drums were an issue for tuning for some people but I love them and mine have about 4 days playing on them before I went away from drumming for the last few years. Up until then I was a two hours a day kinda guy.

I'm just wondering if anyone can lead me towards info that might serve as a guide/templet to tuning pitches using the tune bot on a reference and black panther . Iv tuned them to ear and love the sound of the coated resos( I know this isn't a norm) but it's a lovely warm tone with a reduction on overtones and sustain. Which I like but I'm not married to, it was just for the hell of it. For fun and experimenting il be changing heads around to finally get to play with the drums.

Thanks in advance and it's amazing to see how much drumming has changed while iv been ill. Any suggestions will be tried and messed around with as I love playing with tuning in general. I must about the snare is the issue I don't know if it's developed problems while the years rolled by but tuning it isn't going as planned or maybe I'm just out of practice. I'd just love to hear what sounds those of you that have similar kits have developed as I'm in a rush to catch up and start getting back to a regular session on the chair

Thanks mike
 

Badmarx

Junior Member
Thanks for the welcome and it's great to be back. Yeah I have always tuned by ear but the tune bot is just fun to play with. I'm not worried about the specific tune of the toms just the end result sound and feel. I think it's more important how the drums come across as a kit then if their in a specific key or note. Just trying to see if people have found nice ' sweet spot' settings for their reference toms etc. Truthfully I'm probably being lazy but a starting point to play with the bot. I must say though that the g1coated as a reso head is really growing on me it's a real nice universal sound. And once I figure out what's up with the snare and get a sound I like I will be happy out.

I think the snares issue might be between my ears since iv been living through other drummers on YouTube the last few years and it's been so long since I actually sat with a snare below me. every videos production values and the amount of triggers and Heavy gating on some of them is anything but amature stuff. Not like what I used to record at home. sorry if I double posted earlier but this excitement of having the drums out has caused my first forum posting rather than reading
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
And while we are on the subject - stay away from that dam blue steel cable that Pures__t includes with their wires. That stuff acts like a cheese cutter on your edges and will eventually wear through the snare side head and chew into the snare bed. It is Purecrap and I have no idea why they still use that.

The best solution is 5/8" grosgrain (pronounced grow grain) polyester ribbon. You can find this almost anywhere - on ebay or at Michael's crafts etc. It costs about $3 for a roll that will last you years. It has some flex and it is exceptionally durable.

About the pure sound wires : that is perfectly true. I bought a secondhand snare, the reinforcement ring and the edge had to be recut, there were 4 gutters cut by those bloody cables. Grosgrain is the way to go.
 
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