Getting the drums out for the first time in 10 months


Senior Member
My weekend band stopped gigging in February after one of the members had a major bereavement.

We've cancelled all our gigs since then, but we're due to start playing again next month, which I'm really looking forward to.

The drums haven't been out of their cases for 10 months (I've practised on a Roland kit at home since then).

A simple question really about re-tuning the drums (which are reasonably high-end).

Would you:

a. Loosen everything off and start from scratch.

b. See if they've de-tuned or not, and simply fine tune back into shape.

I've never had this long a break from a particular kit before and I'd be interested to know what forum members would do.



Platinum Member
I'd probably just see where they are when you go to set them up. If they seemed off, I'd take them down to slack and start over, and if they seemed papery or flat sounding at the tension where they should sound fine, then time for new heads.

10 months isn't all that long so you might be fine, but it depends on what kind of heads they are and what kind of shape they were in before you stored them away.

I've been all single ply on my toms for a few years now and thing I notice way more than with two-ply heads is that when they're stretched, I have to crank up too high to get any life out of them - they get papery and dead when there's no life left. Tuned up high enough to get a note, and they're about an octave too high. Not good.

I used to be able to leave two-ply heads on for literally years before I noticed any degradation, but with single-ply heads, I'm changing them out every few months, but they sound so much more alive so I'm good with that.


Just set them up and play. Anything wonky will make itself apparent pretty quickly. If needed, tune to taste. I usually start with a good, hard CPR with the base of my palm to re-seat/reset the head, then tap at each lug and see if anything needs a tweak.


Silver Member
Do a warm up around the set with eight’s, triplet’s, and sixteenth’s starting soft working to loud and back down for about 15 min., then play a tune or two and see how they sound. After that, adjust from there if need be.