Bass drum head tension

sticksnstonesrus

Silver Member
Not that I'm after speed here, but for the sake of keeping my feet in practice to higher single stroke BPM....

I noticed yesterday while reviewing some older stuff I used to play (back like mid 90's) that my feet are not accustomed to running in 190+ range anymore. Definitely not for very long either. Endurance is down. With what I'm playing now, there is just no need for me to be using double bass singles that fast, ever.

So, with that, I've had my fusion sized Sonor kit very loosely tuned. I would say the Gatzen basics apply to the bass drum, tight enough to get the wrinkles out of the front head, and maybe a 1/2 turn past the winkles on the batter. Well, today I tried a full turn more on the batter, just to see how the effect would be...and wow...quite a bit more snap than I'm used to. I can understand the obvious logic based on rebound tension. Not to mention I play a set of AL-2's. Not that they were slow, it is, and has been me...I'm just curious as to where others tune their batters and is it based more on the sound they achieve from the bass, the playability of the tension (it makes a difference), or maybe a mix of both (which is where I'm at now)???

Also to state, that those that struggle with pedal speed and playability...try looking at the head tension as another factor...for some reason I haven't been paying attention to it other than to ensure the produced sound is priority #1...which is wrong.
 

austin412

Member
i play with a pretty tight tension on my bass and toms and i come damn near close to choking the snare and all my resos r very very lose the higher tuning creates a sound that cuts better in metal and the lose reso makes it punchy i do it for sound but yea def helps with double kick
 

Fiery

Silver Member
I tune the kick to just above finger tension, just enough so the claws and lugs don't rattle. This gives me a pointy, clicky sound with just enough low end without the need for a lot of muffling. I believe in tuning for sound, not feel.
 

sticksnstonesrus

Silver Member
I believ in tuning for sound as well...but now am paying more attention to feel as it makes a tremeandous difference in how much I have to work to get the figures out. I don't know why I didn't notice it in relation to the cosmic difference in say, a marching head, and how easy it is to get phenomenal sticking vs. playing a pillow.

I know the produced note is different (higher) but I think it's ok. Like everything else...just have to keep testing it out.
 

Cuauhtemoc

Member
I hate a thud in someone's sound but I understand the necessity of it when a drummer plays speed metal.

I totally believe in making the kick have a sound, even if you use dampening. I like EMAD heads or Remo Muffl rings or any other head for that matter that doesn't block part of the batter head. I think this brings balance to amount of sound that heads for the resonant head. And of course, cut a small hole in the head so the resonant head actually rings. It sounds great through a PA or in the studio.
 
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