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Old 02-17-2012, 11:35 AM
MasonDdrummer's Avatar
MasonDdrummer MasonDdrummer is offline
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Default How to tune a snare drum?

Hello my fellow drummers.

After a couple years drumming its come to my attention that my snare drum sounds awful.
I'm wondering if anyone knows some good links or has some good advice that could help me out?

Thanks all

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Old 02-17-2012, 12:00 PM
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Netz Ausg Netz Ausg is offline
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Default Re: How to tune a snare drum?

Search youtube for Bob Gatzens tuning videos - very helpful. Also a general search of youtube will give you a few other examples of other people's approach (though Bob's advice is pretty good).
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:27 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: How to tune a snare drum?

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Old 02-17-2012, 03:15 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: How to tune a snare drum?

Here's a quick and dirty way:

First, get at least a fresh batter head if it's very beat up. Lose all muffling (include the internal "tone control", if your drum has one- turn it completely off). Starting with the lugs inserted but completely loose, and making sure that the rim is centered (there should be an even gap between the inside of the rim and the head all the way around the drum), finger-tighten the lugs two at a time on opposite sides of the drum- the second set you tighten should be at 90 degreed to the first set, then tighten the rest of the lugs. Get them as tight as you can with your fingers. Then bring the drum up to tension with a drum key, a half turn at a time at first, then at a quarter turn; going around the drum in the following order:

Do that for the top and bottom heads. The bottom head should feel firm, but not hard, to your finger, and the top head should be wherever you want it.

Turn the snares on (engage the lever on the side of the drum so the wires touch the head). On the snare strainer there is a tension knob- loosen it completely so the drum sounds like a tom tom. Take a stick and tap the center of the head very lightly- like ~ a 1/2" stroke- while tightening the tension knob. Keep tightening until you get a sound that suits you. There's a range of tension where it will have a nice snare drum sound; too loose or too tight and it will sound like a tom tom- an ugly tom tom.

While tensioning the drum, it's considered correct to tap the drum lightly close to each lug and tune them accordingly. The overtones can be deceptive, though, and I never mastered that type of tuning; I was still able to get a decent sound. Now I use a Drum Dial, and am happy with the results.

Anyway, that's it- good luck!
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:05 PM
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Xero Talent Xero Talent is offline
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Default Re: How to tune a snare drum?

There's a thread stickied about this topic:

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