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Old 10-09-2009, 09:29 PM
MattyG MattyG is offline
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Default Tuning Toms

I started up playing the drums about 18 months ago and have been playing on a kit with a 12" rack tom and 16" floor tom. I just bought Remo Pinstripe heads for the two and was wondering if I could get any advice as to tuning technique (top vs. bottom heads) or suggestions. I'm not certain what type of sound I'd like, which has a lot to do with me not being entirely sure how to get specific tones.

Anyone with a little time and patience willing to help out an up and comer, I greatly appreciate any advice!

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Old 10-09-2009, 09:39 PM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: Tuning Toms

Read this thread http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=6029. You should find an answer there.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:03 PM
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drumtechdad drumtechdad is offline
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Default Re: Tuning Toms

The most important thing is to let the drums tell you where they want to be tuned. Once you do that, your preferred "sound" comes mostly from head choice.

To find the best range for each drum:

Take each drum and reduce the tension on both heads to finger-tight. Add a 1/4-turn all around, both top and bottom. Keep adding a 1/4 turn until both heads are tight enough to make a real tone. At this point make both the heads the same pitch and make the lug-to-lug tuning decent.

This is now the lowest tuning your drum/head combination will provide.

Now keep adding 1/4 turns all around to both heads, keeping both heads at the same pitch and keeping the lug-to-lug tuning decent. Strike the batter after every round.

As you go up through the range, there'll be one spot (usually a range of a few semitones) where the drum sounds louder, punchier, and has the most sustain. Above that range the drum begins to become choked.

Put each drum in that sweet spot. Make sure they sound good when struck together. (You may have to tweak one or both drums up or down to avoid nasty intervals or "beating.")

At this point you can fool around with raising the reso relative to the batter to reduce sustain.

Now your drums are tuned to their best range. If the sound is not suitable for you, it's time to try new heads.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Tuning Toms

Just to sum up, never force your drums into an area of tuning where they loose their resonance and sustain. Each drum has their sweet spot, too low and they sound flat without resonance, too high and they're chocked, again without much resonance. Always start slow and start low until you hear a nice tone with a bit of resonance. I usually start with the resonant head and then match that tone with the batter head. This is usually the lowest pitch that particular size drum will produce with good resonance and sustain. If you want a slightly higher pitch, give each tension rod on the reso side a VERY slight turn and then again match it on the batter side. When I say slight, I mean like a 5 degree turn, because when you have 6 or 8 lugs, a 5 degree turn on each one of them really adds up and you don't want to go overboard. This is one of the main problems that someone has when they're learning how to tune drums. Remember always make sure each head is in tune with itself.

BTW, I loosen the batter before attempting to tune the resonant head. This will better let you hear the lowest tone coming from the resonant head without the batter heads influence.

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