Fat snare tuning preference: all loose or half loose batter head?

DHA

Member
I've been doing a lot of experimenting/research into different tunings lately.

For that low, punchy, fat snare, do you prefer to tune every lug quite loose, or tune half of the drumhead loose? (explanation below). I've been playing around with the second option and have had really nice results, also used it at a show and had some good feedback.

What I mean by half of the drumhead loose is this:

Lugs between 2 and 10 o'clock tuned fairly high,
Lugs around 3 and 9 o'clock tuned medium (or slightly low),
Lugs at 5 and 7 o'clock tuned very low,
Lug at 6 o'clock completely loose.
Plus two moongels.

With a few little adjustments, it can sound great. I find the the higher-tuned lugs provide a nice tone to the sound.

The snare I'm using is a 6.5x14 phosphor bronze Pearl Sensitone, with a Remo Ambassador X.
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
I'm a big fan of low tuned snares. I do however always do it with even tuning all round as I don't want to potentially warp any of my hoops.

The only problem with that is that they often go out of tune so you just have to keep on top of it.

I also find that when you're looking for a fat sound when just playing/practicing, an o-ring on a low tuning works really well. Takes away the overtones and focuses it.

I'm currently using my Guru with an o-ring for practicing and without for recording and it is fatter than me after a 20" pizza
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I always tune evenly no matter what the sound I am looking for is. Both of my brass snares go very low and fat just by tuning them; I also use the second-head method if I need a switchup mid-set for a single song.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I've done the few lug detuning a few times in a pinch, but the second head method is way easier and sounds better. I tried the used head method, but depending on the condition, it may not work well. I did however discover, I can revive an old head for this purpose quite nicely. Just loosen on the drum till it wrinkles, then take a heat gun on low moving in a circular pattern from the outside in. That tightens up the head nicely and it will lay flat on the head when cut up. Otherwise the Big Fat Snare Drum head is actually quite nice. It has a dampening ring and a rubber edge, so you don't have to fight prying it off the head. Seems an overrated issue, unless your rims are not a standard triple flange and curl in instead of out.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
I tune evenly across the whole head. This is how I tune my snare drums most of the time, so it's not really an issue for me to want to change the sound of the drum after I have it tuned low and fat. At low batter tensions however, you have to lock in the tension rods or they will back off in a hurry. I use 12-24 nuts locked in against the top of the lugs.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It depends what you're going for.

I'm generally sort of medium to medium high all the time, but if going lower it's usually enough for me to just tune the whole batter down a bit.

All those different tuning tricks work and they're cool, but they all sound different.

A BFS or something like that is great. Depends on the situation.

I keep things simple. I'm more likely to change technique and/or untensils than tune. If my general preferred tuning range isn't working out, then that's why I bring 1 or 2 other snares.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Take an old drum head cut the hoop off of it and lay it on the snare drum. FREE. Cut different sized circles for different sounds.
 

DHA

Member
Take an old drum head cut the hoop off of it and lay it on the snare drum. FREE. Cut different sized circles for different sounds.
I've made o-rings before but never a solid BFSD style circle from old heads, I'll give it a try this weekend!

It depends what you're going for.

I'm generally sort of medium to medium high all the time, but if going lower it's usually enough for me to just tune the whole batter down a bit.

All those different tuning tricks work and they're cool, but they all sound different.

A BFS or something like that is great. Depends on the situation.

I keep things simple. I'm more likely to change technique and/or untensils than tune. If my general preferred tuning range isn't working out, then that's why I bring 1 or 2 other snares.
Good way to put it - it definitely depends what you're going for... I like the all-lugs-low tuning as well.

I'm doing some recording soonish, looking forward to testing how the different methods turn out under some microphones.

I'm a big fan of low tuned snares. I do however always do it with even tuning all round as I don't want to potentially warp any of my hoops.

The only problem with that is that they often go out of tune so you just have to keep on top of it.

I also find that when you're looking for a fat sound when just playing/practicing, an o-ring on a low tuning works really well. Takes away the overtones and focuses it.

I'm currently using my Guru with an o-ring for practicing and without for recording and it is fatter than me after a 20" pizza
I saw a live show recently where the drummer started out with a really nice fat low snare... unfortunately he didn't keep on top of it, and it was sounding really dull by the end of the set.
 
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