DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Technique

Drum Technique Tips - Tricks - Practice - Rudiments - Educational DVDs & Books.....

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-12-2008, 12:05 AM
Pearlrules Pearlrules is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 120
Default How often should I replace drum heads?

I havent replaced my drum heads since I got my drums in December...

how often should i replace them?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-12-2008, 12:51 AM
Pontiadict's Avatar
Pontiadict Pontiadict is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Royal Palm Beach,FL
Posts: 27
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

I haven't replaced my heads since I bought my drums either.I bought my Ludwigs new in 1978.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-12-2008, 12:54 AM
blade123
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pontiadict View Post
I haven't replaced my heads since I bought my drums either.I bought my Ludwigs new in 1978.
JESUS CHRIST!!!
Replace your heads when they get worn or you can't get a good tone out of them. I usually go about every 6 months or so. Resos less often, snare more, bass less.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-12-2008, 01:33 AM
Tutin's Avatar
Tutin Tutin is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Edinburgh/Aberfoyle, Scotland
Posts: 767
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blade123 View Post
JESUS CHRIST!!!
Replace your heads when they get worn or you can't get a good tone out of them. I usually go about every 6 months or so. Resos less often, snare more, bass less.
Well, providing Pontiadict has a controlled technique and maybe even uses light sticks, there's no surprise there really. I used to bang the hell out of my drums when I started but the heads still lasted a while to be fair. My technique is more mature and refined now and I haven't changed my skins in years, and just about a month ago I got loads of comments on a youtube video about how I got such a killer tone out of the drums. So there you go.

Still, from 1978, that's really impressive. Well in Pontiadict.

T
__________________
Would like more MFB please.

http://www.myspace.com/thisurlisoccupied
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-12-2008, 02:42 AM
Deathmetalconga's Avatar
Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 7,272
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tutin View Post
Well, providing Pontiadict has a controlled technique and maybe even uses light sticks, there's no surprise there really. I used to bang the hell out of my drums when I started but the heads still lasted a while to be fair. My technique is more mature and refined now and I haven't changed my skins in years, and just about a month ago I got loads of comments on a youtube video about how I got such a killer tone out of the drums. So there you go.

Still, from 1978, that's really impressive. Well in Pontiadict.

T
Agreed. if you don't thrash on your set you can go years without changing heads. They're made out of pretty durable plastics.
__________________
Ironwood kit Tiki kit Openhanders Vids
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-12-2008, 03:31 AM
blade123
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Agreed. if you don't thrash on your set you can go years without changing heads. They're made out of pretty durable plastics.
Not necessarily. Heads stretch over time.
If you don't thrash, then you won't break/dent heads. You still should replace them every now and then because they stretch out and loose their tone. I don't dent or break heads, but whenever I put new heads on, they sound noticeably better.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-12-2008, 03:59 AM
wloeb wloeb is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 493
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blade123 View Post
Not necessarily. Heads stretch over time.
If you don't thrash, then you won't break/dent heads. You still should replace them every now and then because they stretch out and loose their tone. I don't dent or break heads, but whenever I put new heads on, they sound noticeably better.
I recently replaced the heads on my set after 12 years. They were coated ambassodors and they still sounded very good. The new heads are the same model and they do sound a little bit better maybe 20% subjectively. I don't play hard and the old heads still had some life in them.

Wayne
__________________
My recording experiment:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=40247
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-12-2008, 04:46 AM
Deathmetalconga's Avatar
Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 7,272
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blade123 View Post
Not necessarily. Heads stretch over time.
If you don't thrash, then you won't break/dent heads. You still should replace them every now and then because they stretch out and loose their tone. I don't dent or break heads, but whenever I put new heads on, they sound noticeably better.
Stretching is normal - that's one of the reasons why you can tune heads. When my heads loosen, I can just tighten them a bit. I suppose after a long while you would bottom out your tuning bolts in the lugs, but I've never reached that point.
__________________
Ironwood kit Tiki kit Openhanders Vids
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-13-2008, 12:45 AM
Pontiadict's Avatar
Pontiadict Pontiadict is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Royal Palm Beach,FL
Posts: 27
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

It didn't hurt that my drums were put away for about 20 years.Shame on me,but I'm back playing again and loving it.And yeah,though I'm no technique master,I learned long ago you need not bash the hell out of your drums to get good volume and tone.I'm also aware
that it's pretty much time to try some new heads out!

John
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-13-2008, 03:04 AM
Tutin's Avatar
Tutin Tutin is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Edinburgh/Aberfoyle, Scotland
Posts: 767
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pontiadict View Post
It didn't hurt that my drums were put away for about 20 years.Shame on me,but I'm back playing again and loving it.And yeah,though I'm no technique master,I learned long ago you need not bash the hell out of your drums to get good volume and tone.I'm also aware
that it's pretty much time to try some new heads out!

John
Haha, that would definitely help John! I seem to be bumping into people with the same name as me over and over again recently. It's crazy.

Anyway, glad you're back on the kit!

T

or John?
__________________
Would like more MFB please.

http://www.myspace.com/thisurlisoccupied
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-13-2008, 04:07 AM
zambizzi's Avatar
zambizzi zambizzi is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Big Bad Boise
Posts: 4,045
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

John, I greatly disagree with your approach. Thirty+ years is ridiculous. They should be changed at least once a day.

Or, just change them when they start to sound bad and can't be tuned. I'm going through heads right now about every 6 mo. Kick batters...about 1/yr.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-13-2008, 01:32 PM
si20 si20 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 32
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
John, I greatly disagree with your approach. Thirty+ years is ridiculous. They should be changed at least once a day.
Or, just change them when they start to sound bad and can't be tuned. I'm going through heads right now about every 6 mo. Kick batters...about 1/yr.

that could get a little pricey!!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-15-2008, 07:27 AM
Ekim Ekim is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA, Planet Earth
Posts: 673
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

The funny part is that you might not realize just how much tone you lose by not replacing heads more often. I was playing my kit and thought, man these drums just sound BAD!

Then I realized I'd not ever replaced the resos. It sounded like a whole different kit.

But then again, I know a guy that has a kit with the original resos and he pounds like a maniac and they still sound okay. If he didn't bash so hard and retuned with new heads, he'd probably plotz.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-15-2008, 11:03 AM
Philippe's Avatar
Philippe Philippe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 146
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

jesus, guys, playing years without replacing the heads? you're not serious, are you?

I guess it's absolutely okay to replace them twice a year (resos also, never underestimate the reso head!), but it depends of course how much you play really. if you play a lot of gigs I'd say you have to change them quite often.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-15-2008, 06:47 PM
k3ng's Avatar
k3ng k3ng is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 761
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

As often as you can afford. In my case - close to never.

I've only changed them once in their lifetime so far. But it's not that old. And they still do sound gorgeous to me.

I recently changed the STOCK tama heads off my church's drum set. Still seating, waiting to be tuned. Maybe I'll get another urge to change my own ones. But honestly - change as often as you can afford. If you can afford it why not? And by afford I don't just mean money - also the time it takes to change the buggers and get them back in tune again. Something that I truly despise.
__________________
Percussion like never before.
http://www.inflash.com/list/x.php?en...1&link_id=8192
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-16-2008, 08:13 AM
Victor_se's Avatar
Victor_se Victor_se is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: México City
Posts: 234
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Well as blade123 Said

I replace the batter heads every 6 months and the resos every year.
__________________
My Kit

Tama, Remo, Sabian, Vicfirth
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-16-2008, 08:52 AM
crdirtRider856's Avatar
crdirtRider856 crdirtRider856 is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: southern new jersey
Posts: 564
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
They should be changed at least once a day..
HAHA!! Thats only an option fur us "millionaires". No a good way to check your batter heads is to take them off the drum, hold them up and see if there is any worn out dent.In other words, the head should be flat across the whole surface. If there is a loose spot in the center- they are worn out. With no tension on the head, they should still produce a kind of "tone". If you hold the head out and can see a loose flap where you normally strike it, chances are it needs to be replaced. If anyone knows what I m trying to say and can explain it better, please do. Reso heads are a little tougher. This process wont work so it will depend on how much you play, agressiveness, and recording priorities. Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-16-2008, 06:37 PM
intooder's Avatar
intooder intooder is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 483
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

I think zambizzi meant once a year.

My heads last me 2-3 years unless I rip one by accident. I'm not very picky about the perfect tone so unless there's a tear in one, it stays on.
__________________
PEWFLADCC - Chief of Staff
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:13 PM
Saks_27 Saks_27 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
John, I greatly disagree with your approach. Thirty+ years is ridiculous. They should be changed at least once a day.

Or, just change them when they start to sound bad and can't be tuned. I'm going through heads right now about every 6 mo. Kick batters...about 1/yr.
Dude can I have the heads you toss after a day? :)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:28 AM
utdrummer's Avatar
utdrummer utdrummer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 306
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Years ago I asked my teacher how often I should change out drumheads, especially the snare. Without hesitation he said "when they lose that zing!"
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-14-2010, 08:35 PM
ccsimms ccsimms is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 207
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

When you absolutely have to (meaning if it breaks or it's just so flat and toneless), and if you can scrape up the extra money before tours or something and recording seshes, it always helps.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-18-2018, 01:16 AM
bmm71 bmm71 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 7
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

This is a good question. Well, I'll premise this question by saying the average price of a drum head is $14-$16 dollars EACH, times how many (double headed) drums one has, so it can add up, to say the least.

On my 5 piece kit, which will be almost 27 years old in March, I've never changed the resonant (bottom) head-on any of my toms. The plastic may have degraded to a certain extent, but not anywhere near a batter head would degrade. I've changed my bass drum batter head only once. The front (resonant) bass drum head I've never changed, since it has a logo on it (and my drums aren't made anymore *Corders*)

My snare bottom head I've never changed. I estimated that I had my last set of Batter (top) heads on all my drums in my kit for at least 15 years. When I changed all the batter heads about 4-5 years ago, those fresh heads made my drums come alive, so yes indeed, fresh heads will definitely make your drums come alive and sound like new. But for me, the bottom line is cost, where I can't afford to put fresh heads on my kit as regularly as I'd like.

As always, I'm supportive of my fellow drummers and look forward to reading what other drummers do. Thanks for reading. B RVA
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-18-2018, 01:59 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: East Coast
Posts: 5,489
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Ultimately, a head will let you know when it needs to be changed. It's either going to fart-out sonically, tear, dent, or get so cosmetically ugly that you'll find it unsightly.

When I got my last kit, I grabbed 4 sets of tops (Amb CO/CL and Emp CO/CL). I rotate them once every month or two just so my ears stay fresh/familiar and I know what's what. I don't throw them out, mind you, just rotate. My expectation is that I'll get 3-5 years out of the order, while playing about 1h/day.

I'll let you know how well this works in ~4 more years. Note, overall, I picked up about $500 in heads, including several BD heads. I realize this might be a stretch for some.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-12-2018, 07:36 AM
ZildjianLover ZildjianLover is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 270
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

I never have had to replace resonant heads, unless I am buying new drums, and I do not like the heads that are on it. As for batter heads, I buy coated, and there seems to be no established timeline - I simply replace them when the coating starts to wear off and/or the tone starts to lose its "oomph" factor.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-12-2018, 03:27 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,577
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Some wild advice in here. Look at how often guitar players change their strings, sure, they tune up fine but after a while they start to sound really dull. just like drum heads.

I do it about 2 times a year, mainly because I can't afford to do it more often. Touring drummers sometimes do it every few gigs. So keep that in mind, but they also are not paying for it.

The issue is that it happens slowly when they wear out so you don't really notice it, until you change them. Then it is night and day.

The bottom or reso heads matter just as much as the top, maybe even more. I see guys who just keep changing the tops and wonder why their drums sound dead.

A good rule of thumb is if they are dented, change em. If they sound dead, try tuning them, if it is not working, change em. If it has been a long time and they don't sound good, try and tune them, if it isn't working, change them. If your bored and want something to do, change em.

But at the same time if they sound good, just leave them.


2 times I change mine are right before I go into a studio to record, and when I want to switch from coated to clear, single to dual ply etc. I usually take off my old heads and put em on my second practice kit as they still work.

I also change my snare WAY more than my toms, every month or so as it gets hit probibly 50x as much.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-12-2018, 07:44 PM
rummy rummy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Chicago
Posts: 63
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

I go about about once a year.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 02-12-2018, 08:02 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is online now
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,800
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

I change them when they start sounding bad-- easily five or more years, maybe sooner with a snare drum I use a lot. Or when I want a different sound. Once I've changed a bottom head to a Remo Ambassador, I basically never change it again. I never wear out or break bass drum heads-- I only change them for a different sound.
__________________
Visit Cruise Ship Drummer! - a drumming blog | 2017 CSD! Book of the Blog now available
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 02-14-2018, 05:10 PM
CommanderRoss's Avatar
CommanderRoss CommanderRoss is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 344
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Just change them when they start to sound bad and can't be tuned. I'm going through heads right now about every 6 mo. Kick batters...about 1/yr.
This if you're hitting the studio a lot. Not so much if you're just a casual player or gig where they use mics.
I've played at shows where the front of house guy put a dead headed drum through his board and made it sound great.
Studios can play with it too, but like the natural sound your kit puts out better. Thus, having good heads is vital.

Sometimes I change heads just because I want to try something new on my kit or I get a good deal. Then pull them off and start over.
__________________
"You're never fired, you're just not asked to do the next thing". -Liberty DeVitto
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 02-15-2018, 03:35 PM
Supernoodle Supernoodle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 86
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

depends on how hard you hit. Re-tuning should be done regularly, starting from slack. You'll see clearly dents and wrinkles in the centre which will kill the tone, but otherwise, if there is no visible damage, no need to replace them I reckon.

Just look at Bill Stewart's drums at the MD Festival 1997...

Head manufacturers and endorsers would of course recommend changing them every week!
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 02-15-2018, 04:11 PM
Tamaefx's Avatar
Tamaefx Tamaefx is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: France
Posts: 496
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

I don't change them on regular basis, but I take appart my drum kit to clean it about once in a year. If the head is very concave once detuned, it means to me that the head is tired and needs replacement.
It's very true for the snare, which is tuned high, once out of the hoop/ shell, if it's very concave, I don't take the risk.

Heads are quite expensive, I would really like to change regularly - to try out new type of heads, new sound, but unfortunately, it means a lot of money.
You often find on the second hand market, drumkits with the original drumheads, 20/25 years old - it's scaring :)
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 02-15-2018, 04:53 PM
Midnite Zephyr's Avatar
Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Surf City, USA
Posts: 6,243
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

You know, I've been playing for awhile and I'm kinda wondering the same thing. I would say, based on experience, it all depends on the miles you put on them. It's like asking, how often should I change the tires on my car.
__________________
Drumming for fun.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 02-15-2018, 05:12 PM
GruntersDad's Avatar
GruntersDad GruntersDad is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gulf Coast Seminole, Florida
Posts: 21,166
Default Re: How often should I replace drum heads?

Tires show tread wear or dry rot on the side walls. Drum heads are a little more subtle. As they wear we get used to the sound, so they don't sound maybe as bad as they have become. Coated heads when they begin to get smooth and then lose their tone, reso heads maybe every other time. Snare heads more often because of more use, snare side heads are very thin and usually very tight which will cause loss of tension and tone ability. All subjective, but if you play a lot I would do them yearly at the longest. I am surprised when I see heads, tom or snare that are almost black with dirt and wonder how could they sound decent after all of that play.
__________________
johnny
Suum cuique tribuere....
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com