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  #1  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:22 AM
MediocrityMaster MediocrityMaster is offline
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Default i don't understand notes

so i've been trying to refine my drum tunings again, and when people are tuning, i hear everyone talking about tuning in perfect fourths or thirds or w/e but coming from a minimal music based background i dont know what that means. i used to play the clarinet a few years ago, but i never picked up on those. and my drum teacher is electronically oriented, so he didnt help me.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

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Originally Posted by MediocrityMaster View Post
so i've been trying to refine my drum tunings again, and when people are tuning, i hear everyone talking about tuning in perfect fourths or thirds or w/e but coming from a minimal music based background i dont know what that means. i used to play the clarinet a few years ago, but i never picked up on those. and my drum teacher is electronically oriented, so he didnt help me.
Just remember the first two notes of the wedding march or Amazing grace. The interval between those notes is a perfect fourth. It works well when to tune your toms in this interval. Both from tom to tom as well as batter to reso head.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

Fourths and thirds refer to notes that relate to each other musically in the context of one key pitch, and you'll hear about major fourths, minor fourths, et cetera. On a melodic instrument this is way more crucial. On the drums it's not really realistic to tune to "perfect" anything unless you have a lot of time and some very very sensitive tuning equipment.

Generally speaking your drums should be noticeably distinct in pitch. Drums and heads also have certain tunings and pitches that they gravitate towards sonically. If your drums are built halfway decently, they will naturally separate to these distinct notes in order. I would tune towards those ideal pitches if I were you for now, and if the idea of pitching your drums more accurately to a fourth or third interval intrigues you, you should ask someone to give you a crash course in front of a piano or keyboard sometime, and build from there.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:26 AM
MediocrityMaster MediocrityMaster is offline
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

alright, thanks for the tips, i'll ask my sister about it tomorrow morning, since we have a piano too.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:35 AM
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Wavelength Wavelength is offline
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

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Originally Posted by MediocrityMaster View Post
i used to play the clarinet a few years ago, but i never picked up on those.
When you played the clarinet, did you come across a thing called the major scale? Remember what it sounds like? Can you sing it? A perfect fourth is the musical interval between the first and the fourth note of the major scale.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:43 AM
MediocrityMaster MediocrityMaster is offline
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

i dont quite remember the major scale, but i can ask my family, absolutely everyone plays an instrument in my family
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

You know the song, "Here comes the bride"? The word 'here' is a perfect fourth below the note for the words 'comes the bride'.
With 2 rack toms, I tune the larger of the 2 racks to the note for the word 'here' and the smaller of the 2 racks to the note for 'comes the bride'

I run 1 floor so I tune it to the same note as my small rack only an octave or 2 lower.
If you run more than 1 floor, you can tune to the fourth intervals.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
When you played the clarinet, did you come across a thing called the major scale? Remember what it sounds like? Can you sing it? A perfect fourth is the musical interval between the first and the fourth note of the major scale.
There's a bit more to it than that. Intervals are defined by scale degrees, not notes, and a perfect fourth spans four scale degrees. There's only a half-step between E and F and B and C. In C major, the perfect fourths are:

A to D
B to E
C to F
D to G
E to A
F to Bb
G to C
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2010, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

i've found that tuning my two rack toms, a 12" and 13", sound best about a step apart from each other, and the 16" floor tom a fifth down from the 13". specifically, i've got the batters tuned low to high E, B, C# with the resonants tuned a perfect fourth up, low to high being A, E, F#.

i was just messing around with tuning one night and couldn't find any intervals i liked just with messing around with the drums themselves, so i pulled out my guitar. it's just a simple blues pentatonic figure, but it works pretty well. btw i tuned them by plugging a mic into a boss tuning pedal and just held the mic up to the heads while tuning, making sure the drum currently being tuned was on a flat surface so the mic only heard one head. it actually worked pretty well for the toms and snare, but the bass drum is too low for it to pick up.

since you do have a piano laying around, i say go ahead and try to find some pleasant sounding descending patterns. whatever you find, tune the toms to the notes you like and there ya go.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2010, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You know the song, "Here comes the bride"? The word 'here' is a perfect fourth below the note for the words 'comes the bride'.
With 2 rack toms, I tune the larger of the 2 racks to the note for the word 'here' and the smaller of the 2 racks to the note for 'comes the bride'

I run 1 floor so I tune it to the same note as my small rack only an octave or 2 lower.
If you run more than 1 floor, you can tune to the fourth intervals.
If Im tuning two racks and a floor tom, I like to use the notes from the NBC Peacock logo.
I think that they are G B C.
Is that correct?
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2010, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
If Im tuning two racks and a floor tom, I like to use the notes from the NBC Peacock logo.
I think that they are G B C.
Is that correct?
G E C is the NBC logo.

There is a reason behind this. NBC was originally owned by General Electric Company. So when they were looking for an identifying sound, something simple but memorable, they decided to play G, E, C, for the initials of the company.
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2010, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

I just repeat "here comes" from the song over and over again. Start at the lowest tom and work your way up.
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2010, 10:23 PM
MediocrityMaster MediocrityMaster is offline
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

thanks for all the replies, i have my batters esentially tuned up to here comes the bride.
my lower toms, my 14x12 and 12x9 sound perfect together, but my 10x8 always gives me an issue, its soo close to sounding great.
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  #14  
Old 06-29-2010, 12:12 AM
Migaluch Migaluch is offline
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

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Originally Posted by mrchattr View Post
G E C is the NBC logo.

There is a reason behind this. NBC was originally owned by General Electric Company. So when they were looking for an identifying sound, something simple but memorable, they decided to play G, E, C, for the initials of the company.
Oh so that's the little jingle! I had no idea; that's a nice little bit of funny information.

This thread in general makes me feel that us drummers are not very musically smart.
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  #15  
Old 06-29-2010, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You know the song, "Here comes the bride"? The word 'here' is a perfect fourth below the note for the words 'comes the bride'.
With 2 rack toms, I tune the larger of the 2 racks to the note for the word 'here' and the smaller of the 2 racks to the note for 'comes the bride'

I run 1 floor so I tune it to the same note as my small rack only an octave or 2 lower.
If you run more than 1 floor, you can tune to the fourth intervals.
Larry, this is a great description, thank you.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: i don't understand notes

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Originally Posted by Migaluch View Post
Oh so that's the little jingle! I had no idea; that's a nice little bit of funny information.

This thread in general makes me feel that us drummers are not very musically smart.
I don't think that it is a matter of being musically smart.
Most of us hear notes correctly, but because we don't actually play notes on the drums, we don't always know what they are.
After reading mrchattr's answer to my question and learning the correct notes, I had my keyboard player play G E C while I checked my toms. They were very close sounding to the proper notes. I always just tuned by ear, I never actually checked them with a piano before.
I simply tuned until I heard the NBC jingle in my head.
I was fooling around with tuning years ago and I discovered that I liked the toms when I made them sound like the NBC tune.
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