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  #1  
Old 01-19-2019, 03:42 PM
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Default Denting drumheads

So, I've been at this thing for about 10 years.

There's one technique that still eludes me.

I've yet to be able to put even the tiniest of dents in any drumhead.

I often play quite hard, but still.....

How is this done?

Is there a secret technique?

Any help much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2019, 04:12 PM
HeadForTheSticks HeadForTheSticks is offline
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I found that the shape of the drumstick tip make a big difference. I used to play with the round bead tips and often dented my heads. I switched to an acorn shape and haven't dented a head since.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2019, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by HeadForTheSticks View Post
I found that the shape of the drumstick tip make a big difference. I used to play with the round bead tips and often dented my heads. I switched to an acorn shape and haven't dented a head since.
Yup, loved the way the Vater Fusions and Fat Backs sounded on cymbals, but they dent the crap out of heads and I’m not a heavy player.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I have not measured it in a lab, but playing with a third of the force only seems to reduce the volume by a small amount. I just cannot imagine denting a head now, though I used to in the 1970s. I also had lower tunings back then though, which could contribute to the head's vulnerability.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2019, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I don't really dent heads anymore.

One interesting thing I remember seeing one time was talking about tom angle. If your angle is too steep then no matter what you end up hitting the drumhead so that all of the force of the stick is put on the very tip of the drumstick thus causing dents. Where if it is at a better angle you hit it with the entire tip end thus spreading it out more.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2019, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by BertTheDrummer View Post
I don't really dent heads anymore.

One interesting thing I remember seeing one time was talking about tom angle. If your angle is too steep then no matter what you end up hitting the drumhead so that all of the force of the stick is put on the very tip of the drumstick thus causing dents. Where if it is at a better angle you hit it with the entire tip end thus spreading it out more.
This.

Find a head that looks like a golf ball and look at the dents. They aren't symmetrical in their indentation, it's usually shallow on one side and deep on the other like a swimming pool. This is the stick pushing the mylar into the head at an angle.
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2019, 09:10 PM
LikeToPlay LikeToPlay is offline
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

It's stick angle. You obviously have good technique. I hit very flat and though i hit quite hard i never dent my heads.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2019, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

Odd-Arne Oseberg:
I think the head denting technique eludes you because you don’t realize how bad a technique some drummer’s actually have. I have watched it happen.
It comes from not letting the drum stick rebound off the drum head and pretty much pushing the drumstick into the drum head. And stick angle.

This is why one of the first exercises in technique development should be playing on a pillow.
There is a drummer that comes to my open mic jam that dents drum heads. Maybe I can make a video of him playing if you wish.

.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2019, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
So, I've been at this thing for about 10 years.

There's one technique that still eludes me.

I've yet to be able to put even the tiniest of dents in any drumhead.

I often play quite hard, but still.....

How is this done?

Is there a secret technique?

Any help much appreciated.
Switch to Diplomat batters, squeeze your sticks with a death grip, start every down stroke above your head (like Tommy Lee). This should help you get the ever elusive dents you are seeking.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2019, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by gish View Post
Switch to Diplomat batters, squeeze your sticks with a death grip, start every down stroke above your head (like Tommy Lee). This should help you get the ever elusive dents you are seeking.
I feel like using Diplomats would be cheating.

The grip is probably a big factor, but it has to be insanely tight. I've even tried before changing heads on kits at work. Can't do it.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2019, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
I feel like using Diplomats would be cheating.

The grip is probably a big factor, but it has to be insanely tight.
You’re a fellow coated ambassador guy, if memory serves me. Maybe drop your toms to JAW, or maybe leave some wrinkles in there. Severely angle your toms. You can do it Arne; where there’s a will there’s a way.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2019, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

Only a neanderthal with no sense of chops dents a head.

It takes zero rebound and a sharp angle of attack to do it.
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2019, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
Only a neanderthal with no sense of chops dents a head.
That would be how I feel. Seems like not all of them are extinct.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2019, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I dont dent heads either. Maybe its combination of poor/old heads and lousy technique in some cases? Then theres the Jim Gordon story as told by Andy Newmark where in the studio recording 'Youre So Vain', Jim did take after take, eventually leaving a huge divot dead center in the drum head of the snare. I dont think his technique was lacking. Who knows, I dont dent heads or break stick and Im hella beast manly man strong ;)
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  #15  
Old 01-20-2019, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I agree about the angles contributing, but another factor is if you play with sticks that have damaged tips. Bought a new set of EC2s for the church kit last year. Within a week they were dented and unusable. The culprit? The one drummer who's always using sticks I would have tossed weeks ago.
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2019, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I have never dented a head, or cracked a cymbal. I have had others do both... to my gear... when I've provided a backline. After the first occurance, I put together a beater kit - drums and cymbals - for such occassions. The drums aren't the prettiest, but still sound good. I swap out the snare and cymbals when I play ;)

Re Fatback 3As... they are one of my go-to sticks. I prefer round and barrel tips. No denting. If you are denting heads, evaluate drum height/angles, throne height, and playing technique.


Odd-Arne Oseberg... just throw out all the good habits you've cultivated. You will get there ;P
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2019, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I have only dented drum heads using round tip sticks.
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2019, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I have used a ton of different sticks and probably every tip configuration, including round, and have never dented a head
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  #19  
Old 01-20-2019, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
I have used a ton of different sticks and probably every tip configuration, including round, and have never dented a head
I feel your pain.

It might just not be in the cards for us.
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  #20  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

Well, that's just interesting. Was watching a Mike Johnston episode where someone asked him about his signature sticks and he pointed out he loved the Vater Fusion, but the round tip would dent heads, so he opted for barreled shaped tips. I guess you all need to try a bit harder!
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  #21  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:19 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I occasionally dent the resonant head after striking clean thru the batter, very embarrassing.
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by J-Boogie View Post
I occasionally dent the resonant head after striking clean thru the batter, very embarrassing.
You mean you didn’t bust through the reso head as well? That is embarrassing.
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  #23  
Old 01-21-2019, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I change my heads when I go into a studio, but they never have dents. I recently sold a bunch of my old heads as they were still in great shape.

several things can cause dented heads.

1. Tom angles.. if you don't hit flat, there is less surface area of the stick hitting and can cause dents.

2. Tip type. those ball tips on a heavy stick. once again, less surface area. Combine that with a heavy stick on a hard hitter and you get dents.

3. Head type. Obviously a single ply head that is thin isn't as strong.

4. Head tension. If you tune JAW, or even if they back off a bit at this point that can cause issues.

5. technique, but that would go along with sticks and the angle, also not letting them rebound off the head.

6. How hard you are playing. Play "LOUD" means different to different people. Playing loud in a jazz band is a bit different than loud in a heavy rock or metal band. When you have amps and monitors CRANKED you REALLY need to hit if you don't have mics on the kit. Also, huge strokes are never necessary, but some drummers have a persona, or visual representation they or their band are trying to create.

If I go to an open mic night, id take my good heads off and put on beaters. lol.
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  #24  
Old 01-21-2019, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by beyondbetrayal View Post
..Playing loud in a jazz band is a bit different than loud in a heavy rock or metal band..

That depends a little on the definition of Jazz in this case..

I have been at 100's and 100's of concerts in my life in all sorts of genres, but the only time that i really thought that things almost were too loud, while wearing high quality earplugs (!), was almost 20 years ago when i saw Karizma with Colaiuta..

Compared to that 99,9% of all metal guys can be considered complete sissies..

The other 0,1% are in the category Motörhead, but those are deaf anyway..
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:00 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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That depends a little on the definition of Jazz in this case..

I have been at 100's and 100's of concerts in my life in all sorts of genres, but the only time that i really thought that things almost were too loud, while wearing high quality earplugs (!), was almost 20 years ago when i saw Karizma with Colaiuta..

Compared to that 99,9% of all metal guys can be considered complete sissies..

The other 0,1% are in the category Motörhead, but those are deaf anyway..
Good point, but remember FOH is a totally different perspective. If the drums, amps, etc, are mic'd a sound guy has a volume switch so the audience is under his influence.

I'm talking stage noise. Even more so in a small venue/bar where the sound guys still crank it. The bad monitors make the guitarists crank their amps so they can "hear it" the sound guy cranks everything to 10, the bounce back off the walls and loud stage volume creates a muddy sound and you have to hit harder and harder just to hear your toms. Half the time the audience doesn't know how hard you are hitting due to compressors on the drums anyways.

This is a common situation but I just accept the fact that I won't be able to hear myself and trust that I am playing in time and tight. If there is gear sharing you can see some drummers start hulk smashing when they can't hear themselves.

I like to try to practice as quiet as I can and see how soft I can play sometimes. Try that and videotape yourself. If you have some Isolation headphones put em on and turn em up and play along. It's hard to play that soft, you want to hear yourself. Keep going up and all of a sudden you are hitting much harder. Eventually drums max out in volume and the heads are dented lol.


At the end of the day though, hitting flat, not overhitting, proper tuning and fresh sticks it is pretty hard to dent heads. I see some heads at gigs that I am with Odd in the fact that I don't understand. It's like someone took them off, hit them a ton, then put them back on the drum.
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  #26  
Old 01-21-2019, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

honestly I have only ever seen this in two places

beginner players kits and house kits

it has nothing to do with velocity and everything to do with the angle of impact
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  #27  
Old 01-21-2019, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

I saw a small dent on the batter head on my 12" tom. I have been having problems with the Swiv-o-matic mount slipping and other people have played on that kit here and there. I'm not really sure how it happened and i'm honestly a little embarrassed by it.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:18 AM
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  #28  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

Recently I threw a spare snare head in the car for a gig... Pretty haphazardly, unfortunately; couldn't figure out what I did with the box. Anyway, I was so un-careful that I accidentally allowed my high hat stand to sit on top of the drumhead. Dented the crap out of it. So I guess I can't join this fancy pants "never dented a drumhead" gaggle.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Recently I threw a spare snare head in the car for a gig... Pretty haphazardly, unfortunately; couldn't figure out what I did with the box. Anyway, I was so un-careful that I accidentally allowed my high hat stand to sit on top of the drumhead. Dented the crap out of it. So I guess I can't join this fancy pants "never dented a drumhead" gaggle.
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  #30  
Old 01-22-2019, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
honestly I have only ever seen this in two places

beginner players kits and house kits

it has nothing to do with velocity and everything to do with the angle of impact
You know what. This is probibly 100% right, but if you add all the other factors, like stick/tip size, hitting hard, single ply, and head tension it will make the issue much worse.

Playing death metal and hitting reasonably hard I don't think I have actualy dented a head in years. I have maybe found one or 2 small ones on heads that were on my kit for year, but playing every day that is pretty acceptable in my books, and those heads should have been changed months before. I also let my friends play my kit when they come over the house so this actually surprises me.

House kits are played by SO many drummers, and I am sure some crank those tom angles far too much.
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  #31  
Old 01-22-2019, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

[quote=beyondbetrayal;1613556]I recently sold a bunch of my old heads as they were still in great shape.[quote]

I leave the old ones outside the practice room.

It's a good way of recycling, they'd get thrown away usually. They get taken quickly.

What do you sell old heads for?
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  #32  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beyondbetrayal View Post
I recently sold a bunch of my old heads as they were still in great shape.
I leave the old ones outside the practice room.

It's a good way of recycling, they'd get thrown away usually. They get taken quickly.

What do you sell old heads for?
I used to donate mine to guys at smaller churches I knew, but don't have those connections I used to have anymore. I've developed a bit of a back stock of very slightly used heads from trying a bunch out on some kits recently, and have thought about trying to sell them. Except I'd almost wonder if it would be worth selling on Reverb or not.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
Only a neanderthal with no sense of chops dents a head.

It takes zero rebound and a sharp angle of attack to do it.
No. (Kind of, but it's not the only reason)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spud Crowley View Post
I have only dented drum heads using round tip sticks.
This - I never dented heads until I switched to round tip sticks. With a round tip stick, it doesn't matter what angle your toms are, or what your technique is - it's always going to strike more or less the same because of the ball tip. And no, it's not because I'm a neanderthal with no sense of chops or technique. I don't hit particularly hard, and I use lighter sticks - maple Vic Firth SD4 Combos, specifically. If I use any kind of velocity with the stick, I get a few dents here and there, and I'm ok with it because I swap heads out often enough that it's a non-issue.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

Yep it's the dangle angle prominent in dents-just set the mounted tom at a steep angle but loose on post and play-it will shift to less steep angle from play. I wonder how dents alter the standing wave on the drum head and alters the sound-how many dents does it take? I started trying to find that information and found this nice masters work that someone had done (I was also looking had someone measured hits on various drum elements-as what percent of hits are snare, cymbal or tom that another thread had me wondering. https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/ar...aliens-receive
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
Yep it's the dangle angle prominent in dents-just set the mounted tom at a steep angle but loose on post and play-it will shift to less steep angle from play. I wonder how dents alter the standing wave on the drum head and alters the sound-how many dents does it take? I started trying to find that information and found this nice masters work that someone had done (I was also looking had someone measured hits on various drum elements-as what percent of hits are snare, cymbal or tom that another thread had me wondering. https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/ar...aliens-receive
I'd venture to guess that in context, i.e., drums mixed, with bass, guitars, vocals, etc, along with the room, miking, how adept the sound man is at mixing, on top of how well the drums are actually tuned to begin with, a few dents likely matters very little.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

When I first started playing, my friend (and I guess sort of my first teacher) told me, "Don't be afraid to hit the drums. You're not going to break them. Go ahead; try hitting the snare as hard as you can."

I did and promptly dented the head. We both laughed. I'm sure I chopped it at a terrible angle; I was an absolute beginner.

Hasn't happened to me since.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

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Originally Posted by trickg View Post
I'd venture to guess that in context, i.e., drums mixed, with bass, guitars, vocals, etc, along with the room, miking, how adept the sound man is at mixing, on top of how well the drums are actually tuned to begin with, a few dents likely matters very little.
LOL you are probably correct but makes you wonder why we change heads so often. I've seen orchestral snare guys with heads all beat to hell and years old and refuse to change it-like it's good luck, and I've seen a few old kits with decades old heads that still sounded good. But in theory it should alter the standing wave of the head itself. Just watched the other thread tuning drum heads to the drum shells pitch which had odd results-the human ear vs reality it seems-too funny.
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  #38  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

if you have dented heads hold a lighter a few inches from the head for a few seconds and they will disappear

experiment with an old head before you use this technique on heads you care about ... there is a learning curve

works best with tension on the head
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
if you have dented heads hold a lighter a few inches from the head for a few seconds and they will disappear

experiment with an old head before you use this technique on heads you care about ... there is a learning curve

works best with tension on the head
That's an awesome idea-much like wetting and heating up an art canvas. I've dinged some reso kick heads in past (that I immediately replaced) that I could have possibly saved-least worth a try.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Denting drumheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
if you have dented heads hold a lighter a few inches from the head for a few seconds and they will disappear

experiment with an old head before you use this technique on heads you care about ... there is a learning curve

works best with tension on the head
Haha I experimented with an iron. The head looked like a goofball (was on a kit I got in trade), and actually it worked. Only drawback was the heat seemed to shrink the head some and it sounded like it was tuned. It was not on a drum. So it did get rid of the dents, but the head was not still usable. Gonna try the lighter trick next time.
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