Snare wire tension


Senior Member
Just wondering how tight you all have your snare wires? I'm not sure how tight I should have mine. Thank you!

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
I've got mine at a relatively medium tension. Not too tight whereupon they begin to choke, but not so loose whereupon they produce a rattling sort of sound. Mess around with different tensions and see what works for you.



Platinum Member
With the strainer engaged, use the knob to loosen the snares until the drum sounds like a tom tom; then tighten them while tapping the drum very softly (like, 1 cm strokes) in the center of the head, with a stick. Keep tightening them until you get a sound you like. You'll notice that if you continue tightening the snares, the drum will eventually start sounding like a tom tom again, which you don't want. Normally the area between the too-loose and too-tight tom tom sounds is what you have to work with, according to your taste.


Platinum Member
Usually just tight enough not to sound flappy on the bottom head. Too much tension on the wires not only robs you of snare response it really chokes the sound of the drum itself.


Platinum Member
I used to have them fairly tight. I thought that it was good to have a nice tight snappy sound. The more I get into other styles of music, the more I want more tonal variation possible. And loosening up the snares (along with the bottom head) gives a wider range of sounds. You can still get a sharp crack with a rimshot. And with the snares looser, you will hear some amount of snare sound on top of that rimshot. And then you can go off center on the drum and get a wet funky sound for New Orleans stuff.
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Platinum Member
Just wondering how tight you all have your snare wires? I'm not sure how tight I should have mine. Thank you!
I turn down until they almost don't contact, then back up a turn or so, enough not to buzz all day, but enough to really be sensitive to ghost notes and drags. Experiment. Unless you crank them down more than the strainer will comfortably go, you'll be okay.


Gold Member
Just picture, the amount of loose buzzing is always more pronounced to you than it will be to the audience. I like mine tightened just a touch past loose, where the snares just become defined I guess is how I would describe it.


Silver Member
How tight you should adjust "your" snares depends on the music you are playing. IF you
are playing jazz with brushes for example, you may want the snares loose enough to respond to the the slightest brush movement (and will lower them during bass solos etc so
they don't buzz). When I played rock I had them tighter, where the softest tap with a stick
produced a tom sound and not yet the snare. You really had to hit the drum to get a nice
sharp snare sound. It just depends on what you are playing. Try all the settings and see what
works best for you.