Thread: John Bonham
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Bonham tuning

Originally Posted by pcmckay
Thanks for responding to my question. When I say the 16" sounds horrible it just has to much sustain, the 14" and 18" have very short sustain. They sound very big and full, but the sustain fades very nicely. Sometimes I have to put my hand on the 16" top head to get it to stop ringing. I'm using Remo Coated Emperors on the top, Remo Coated Ambassadors on the bottom. In the Ocheltree video he says that the "bottom head on the 14" sounds like a snare getting tuned and hence the other drums go down from there." I have tried that and I think the 16" bottom head is too tight and I think that is why it has too much sustain. But I loosen it up and then it just sounds completely different then the other two toms. It sounds very flat and dead, it just doesn't fit with the very round sound I am getting out of the other two toms.
The only other thing I can think of is to try to find a pitch and feel on the top head of the 16" tom that you are happy with, then tune the bottom head up 3 to 4 notes higher than that to see if that works, rather than get too scientific with the pitch relationships and all that. You should be able to shorten the sustain with the bottom head tighter, it just may be a bit more sensitive than the other two, or possibly a bad batter head.
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