Determine the note of a head

DomD

Junior Member
Hi everyone,

I have a kind of a dumb question for you, but as teachers always say "There aren't dumb, only dumb people who don't ask questions".

I tune my drums with my ear at the moment. Let's say I found an area where they sound like I want to and I want to document at which note each drumhead is at so that I can quickly reproduce the same sound on the future if I am retuning or changing heads.
How can I know the note of each head?
Is there a kind of tuner/ device which can tell me at which note the head is at?
I know there are tuners out there that produce specific notes, but I am not sure I will understand if the note that the tuner produces is the same note of the head.(maybe with some practise I'll get it..??)
I don't play any melodic instrument so I am having some trouble hearing pitch differences, although I noticed with some practise time on tuning I am getting better at it.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Specific notes are largely irrelevant for drums.

Tune your drums to pleasing intervals, so that the drum kit sounds good.

The starting notes to 'Here Comes The Bride' or 'Three Blind Mice' are a good place to start.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
The Tunebot allows you to figure out the note the head is tuned to, and you can use their calculator to try different pitch combinations you like. There's also all sorts of apps that you can get to figure out the pitch too.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Specific notes are largely irrelevant for drums.

Tune your drums to pleasing intervals, so that the drum kit sounds good.

The starting notes to 'Here Comes The Bride' or 'Three Blind Mice' are a good place to start.
Indeed. The few corner cases that come to my mind are:

Timpani emulation... When you have a timpani part that you need to play on regular drums.

Production/Arrangements where consonance or dissonance is specifically desired.

But outside of that, just choosing an interval will suffice. I'm usually Maj 4th for >=3 toms, Maj 5th for 2 toms.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The tune bot and the iDrumtune App do exactly this. A regular chromatic tuner or tuning app would tell you the note too.

The trick is getting a consistent note to measure. The sound when you tap next to each lug is actually the first harmonic, not the fundamental pitch of the head. But it is fairly easy to detect, so you can go around the drum and get the lugs even.

Just be aware that the final note you hear from the centre of the drum will be much deeper.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
You need a Tune-Bot. Your drums will sound professionally tuned after using one.

It does what you're asking and much more.
 

DomD

Junior Member
Can the Tune Bot read the fundamental note of a drum and/or of a head or is it just for reading the lug pitches?
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Can the Tune Bot read the fundamental note of a drum and/or of a head or is it just for reading the lug pitches?
It excels at doing both.

Use a chart or tuning app to determine the fundamental note you want then use the Tune-Bot to tune each lug correctly to create that fundamental. The end result will be a drum with even pitches at each lug, the desired fundamental for the whole drum and the proper interval between the batter and resonant head.

Naturally, you can use it to read the current state of the drum kit (anybody's kit, really) and repeat that sound 100% accurately, time and time again.
 

V-Four

Senior Member
It excels at doing both.

Use a chart or tuning app to determine the fundamental note you want then use the Tune-Bot to tune each lug correctly to create that fundamental. The end result will be a drum with even pitches at each lug, the desired fundamental for the whole drum and the proper interval between the batter and resonant head.

Naturally, you can use it to read the current state of the drum kit (anybody's kit, really) and repeat that sound 100% accurately, time and time again.
^^^ this ^^^.

As you said, you have them tuned to a place that you like the sound of. The TuneBot will tell you what the readings(frequency/Notes) are.

Also, as mentioned, the pitch you hear when you "tap" near the lugs, will be different than when you hit the drum (in center) with a stick.

Furthermore, the resonant head also affects the final note (and again dealing with getting reso lugs to same pitch (as each other). Once both heads are tuned, however you like, the Bot will tell you the note of the "entire" drum.

I'd get the Tunebot. If nothing else, to tell you where you are, so you can recreate it later very quickly.


T.
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
There are all sorts of options available if you want to spend some money. If you're looking for a simple solution, make a voice memo with your phone of you tapping the head.

Still, keep in mind that this tuning might not be the most appropriate for different rooms/musical contexts but if you're simply looking for recall in the same space, this can be sufficient.
 
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