Angry Snare Buzz

Disco Stu

Senior Member
I'm having a problem with sympathetic snare buzz. Now, I'm fine with the usual amount of snare buzz that is triggered by the bass and toms. But when I hit my 12" tom, the snare reacts with a viciously noisy buzz. It's so loud that it overpowers the sound of the tom. I have spent hours trying to tune and re-tune the tom and snare, but when it gets to a point where the buzz is eliminated, I am not happy with the sound of either drum. I've tried tightening and loosening the snares, but again by the time the buzz is eliminated, the snares are either way too tight or way too loose. My current snare is 5x14. I was wondering if I swapped out the snare, say to a 6x13, if the size difference would eliminate the problem. Thoughts?


Senior Member
Shouldn't be the snare itself. Sounds like one of the heads thats causing the vibration. The way the tom is tuned is causing the resonance of the snare heads. Correct me if I'm wrong but theoretically this can happen at any note just depending on how the reso head is tuned.

I did a small experiment on this with my bass player. He could walk down the bass and the vibration alone would always resonate the snare wires but there was a certain note that would REALLY resonate it hard. If I tuned up or down the resonant head, the major resonance would happen at a different note. Some soundwaves just conflict differently with other soundwaves. What you need to do is find a happy medium.

i THINK i've given the correct explanation, I'll leave it up to someone else to explain a correction.

Tuning is my only thought.


Platinum Member
I have this problem with my 8 inch tom producing the most buzz. Then I noticed it's the closest drum to the snare, nearly touching it.

Check how close your 12-inch tom is to your snare. I'll bet it is closer than any other tom. Try relocating it farther and I think the problem will get better. It's not just the tuning - distance and head proximity make a big difference.

Disco Stu

Senior Member
Well, my 12" tom is very close to the snare drum, but I think it's more an issue of the tom's fundamental note exciting the snare head(s) and causing the buzz (as graham was describing). Interestingly, I use the same snare drum with my gigging kit, which also has a 12" tom mounted in the exact same place, but I don't have the same problem with that drum. Although the diameter of the two toms is the same, there is a difference in depth. The buzzmaker tom is 7" in depth and the other one is 10" in depth. I don't know how much of a factor this is. It may be that the different toms just strike different notes. So, I was going on the theory that different drums have different tones, and my tom and snare happen to have tones that really react to each other. I only have one snare, so I'm not able to experiment and see if another would make a difference. It may just by the virtue of the fact that I might tune another snare differently, and it would be out of that range where the tom makes the snares react.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Have you tried loosening the four lugs, two on each side of the snare wires, on the batter head. Once you get the snare head where you want it, loosen these four lugs a half turn or so and see if that helps.