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  #1  
Old 05-15-2009, 10:38 PM
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Default Torque key

I know most drummers give negative feedback at the mention of anything automatic about drum tuning, but I heard mixed results about the results of a drum torque keys. I've only been playing for 2 months and still can't tune my heads correctly. I know there is nothing better than tuning by ear, but I am getting frustrated.

Can any give me some advice on this situation? If you think I should get a torque key, what one? I have also heard that they don't work on diecast hoops. How could I find that out? I have a Pearl Export EXR series
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2009, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

Hi,

Look up some tuning threads by cdrums21. I am 55 and I have been playing for 41 years and most of those years I struggled with my tuning. So now they invent the torque key so I bought it. More frustration so I bought the drum dial, even more frustration. cdrums21 taught me how to tune using a cheap pitch pipe. You want to get each lug to the same pitch. For example my 10" tom I tune to a C or if I want it a bit brighter I tune it to a D. The bottom head you can tune it to the same pitch (that will make the tom ring a bit more)or you could tune the bottom head up a minor third or major third and that will shorten the decay, a bit more punch. I can forward you some posts that cdrums21 sent me.

This technique works great. I play some pretty good sized gigs with sound companies and they all have nice compliments on the sound of my kit.
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2009, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

Check out Bob Gatzen's videos on how to tune, I have used his method and all my drums sound really good. Like 2bsticks said, you need to make all the lugs sound the same. You tap the drum head 2 two inches from the lug, then tap another lug next to it and make adjustments with your drum key until they all sound the same, which brings out the music in your drums. The more you tune the faster you will get. Another good reference that a lot people on here will tell you to look at is the drum tuning bible.
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2009, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

I've seen all of Bob Gatzden's videos multiple times as well as the drum bible. Gave me some good points, but it just doesn't want to tune right. If I tune one lug high, then the other ones get even higher so it makes it impossible. I usually give it a shot every week on my snare drum till I find out my problem. I'll look into the cdrums21. I never learned how to tune to certain "letter" pitchs.
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2009, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

Can someone explain to me how the whole music scale works? I just looked it up yet it doesn't make sense. Minor thirds, major thirds, etc. Mainly what pertains to drumming.
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2009, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Torque key

I can't really explain your question a post above me, but if you need to get your snare drum tuned up, you can take it to a place like guitar center or sometimes a local music store (a drum store is probably better). In fact, I brought my snare to be tuned up to guitar center a week ago, they tuned it up really nice. While they they tune it up you can go play the sets or look at drum gear, which to me is always a plus.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2009, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abyssul View Post
Can someone explain to me how the whole music scale works? I just looked it up yet it doesn't make sense. Minor thirds, major thirds, etc. Mainly what pertains to drumming.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_(music)

http://www.musicalintervalstutor.com/
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2009, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

For the wiki about intervals you need to make the last parentheses part of the link.

Here is the real Wikipedia entry that he meant to say.
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  #9  
Old 05-17-2009, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Torque key

Back to the original question, the torque key can only work properly if every tension rod/lug insert has exactly the same amount of friction.

Alas, in the real world this is almost never the case, even with brand-new drums.

If the Gatzen videos or other written descriptions of tuning haven't helped, it may be worth trying to get a couple of lessons from a drummer who can tune. It's not particularly difficult but it really helps to know what to listen for.
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2009, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

Thanks for all the help. I just emailed the only music store in my area about any services for tuning. Hopefully they can.
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2009, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: Torque key

What type of sound are you looking for?
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2009, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Torque key

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bsticks View Post
Hi,

Look up some tuning threads by cdrums21. I am 55 and I have been playing for 41 years and most of those years I struggled with my tuning. So now they invent the torque key so I bought it. More frustration so I bought the drum dial, even more frustration. cdrums21 taught me how to tune using a cheap pitch pipe. You want to get each lug to the same pitch. For example my 10" tom I tune to a C or if I want it a bit brighter I tune it to a D. The bottom head you can tune it to the same pitch (that will make the tom ring a bit more)or you could tune the bottom head up a minor third or major third and that will shorten the decay, a bit more punch. I can forward you some posts that cdrums21 sent me.

This technique works great. I play some pretty good sized gigs with sound companies and they all have nice compliments on the sound of my kit.
minor third for C is D# ?? right? and major third is E ??
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2009, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Torque key

When you're tuning this way, just count up 3 or 4 notes above where the top head is tuned to find the pitch for the bottom head. 3 notes is a minor third, 4 notes is a major third.
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2009, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Torque key

I have an Evans torque key, and only ever use it for quick tune ups before and during gigs. When I bought it, I sat down tuning everything evenly by ear with an ordinary drum key. i then practised reaching those tunings with the torque key. Result is the same sound, with even tension on each lug, and it makes head changes much easier. Not saying that you cant tune up just as fast with an ordinary drum key (which I often do) but it does make life a bit easier, especially during loud gigs when my snare goes out of tune and I cant hear the pitch very well.
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2009, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Torque key

Well my snare still has a nasty overtone and makes it unplayable unless I put moongel on it. I want the snare to be between a crack and poppy sound. As for the toms, I'm going to tune them to be punchy. I found cdrum21's posts here: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...?t=6029&page=2

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21
The 10 tom has the top head tuned to a B and the bottom head a minor third higher to a D. The 13 tom has the top head tuned to an F and the bottom head a minor third higher to a G#. The 16 floor tom has the top head tuned to a B and the bottom head a minor third higher to a D. They sound and feel great, no overtones or snare buzz. Please post some comments if you try this technique, or if you just want to say stuff about it. Good luck and happy tuning!!
Helped a lot.

I found a online tuner here: http://www.farleysessentials.com/pil...ne=chromatic_C but the tones seem impossible.

Last edited by Abyssul; 05-18-2009 at 11:02 PM.
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