Can someone more experienced help me on tuning.

ManosMax13

Junior Member
Hey,
I have been learing drums for 1 and a half year now and I dont know how to tune by ear, so I got a drumdial (not the digital one).
I have an old used tama imperialstar drum set with the original skins on except the snare. The snare skin is Remo 14'' Controlled Sound X Coated Black Dot .

How should my tunings be??
Thanks for helping,
Manos
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I will comment on HOW to learn to tune...but there are so many ideas that I will not go into them.

1) Most of what you hear on recordings and even in live playing(where you cannot hear the acoustic instrument directly) is more impacted by post processing audio signal changes than tuning...thought tuning does play its part.

2) Practice tuning. Tune your set to where you are liking it then take the heads off and do it again....and again...and again. you will find things that written or verbal instruction are likely to not cover.

3) Get educational materials from anywhere you can...old pro videos, books and lessons/conversations with every drummer you can find that you respect....then try it out. Careful with materials put out by companies trying to see things...they are usually...well...trying to sell something.

4) Start recording what you do as soon as you can so you have references.

5) Tuning is not a 'one size fits all' nor is it 'always the same'. Explore things like how it sounds in a different room, what if your guitar player adds equalization and drops the envelope of the sound he makes...etc.

6) Get familiar with the technical aspects...head materials, how heads age, what changes different striking tools make, what attack, sustain, decay and sympathetic vibration mean(get into some physics of what you are doing).

7) Allow your taste in tuning/sound to change...an odd thing to say but I meet many musicians who stay with a specific tuning routine because they have always done it that way.

Tuning is as much a part of drumming as striking an instrument on the kit. Treat it with respect and don't go into it thinking it is 'done once then forgotten'.

From there on out, its details you can determine for yourself but will go faster with some intro instruction/instructional materials.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
This quick tuning method will at least get them sounding good and enjoyable to play.


When you're tuning a head starting with loose tension rods, there's a point at which the head(s) and drum shell begin to resonate. The method in this video gets you in that ball park.

Also, what size toms do you have and how many? Knowing this helps determine a good interval between drums.
 
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☝This right here. Rob Brown's method will get you somewhere between 90% and 100% of the way there—it's pretty much perfect for me, but I realize some might want to futz with it a bit more. But it's remarkably easy and effective.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
This quick tuning method will at least get them sounding good and enjoyable to play.


When you're tuning a head starting with loose tension rods, there's a point at which the head(s) and drum shell begin to resonate. The method in this video gets you in that ball park.

Also, what size toms do you have and how many? Knowing this helps determine a good interval between drums.
Thanks for sharing this. I've never seen it done this way before.

I noticed that the pitch of his drum "sinks" a little (mine do too!). I'm wanting to get mine at a low pitch, but I want the note to stay the same. I use Remo ambassador coated on the tops and remo ambassador clears on the bottom. I've been playing a long time, and still haven't mastered tuning yet.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I noticed that the pitch of his drum "sinks" a little (mine do too!). I'm wanting to get mine at a low pitch, but I want the note to stay the same. I use Remo ambassador coated on the tops and remo ambassador clears on the bottom. I've been playing a long time, and still haven't mastered tuning yet.
Bottom head is probably a higher pitch than the top. If you tune both heads like in Rob's video, you could try giving the top head an additional eighth of a turn.
 

Armor of Light

Senior Member
This quick tuning method will at least get them sounding good and enjoyable to play.


When you're tuning a head starting with loose tension rods, there's a point at which the head(s) and drum shell begin to resonate. The method in this video gets you in that ball park.

Also, what size toms do you have and how many? Knowing this helps determine a good interval between drums.
Dang if that don't work! That's almost too easy.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Bottom head is probably a higher pitch than the top. If you tune both heads like in Rob's video, you could try giving the top head an additional eighth of a turn.
I've found having the bottom head tensioned lower produces that pitch bend; I tune mine a smidge higher than the batters, and I get zero pitch bend.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I've found having the bottom head tensioned lower produces that pitch bend; I tune mine a smidge higher than the batters, and I get zero pitch bend.
I've heard people say having the reso head higher or low than the batter will give you pitch bend.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I've used that technique on my toms for the better part of forever. Only variance is after tuning both sides the same I'll tune the reso lugs a 1/4 turn tighter. Try it. You might like it.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I've heard people say having the reso head higher or low than the batter will give you pitch bend.
So have I. I tune my reso heads a bit higher than the batters on 3 different kits, and none have the pitch bend. When I worked in instrument retail and was asked by more than one customer to get rid of it, I tuned the resos a little higher than the batters, and it got rid of it. A few asked for the opposite; I tuned the resos lower, and got the pitch bend for them. This is an incomplete listing of my hands-on experience with it. :)
 
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