Do your Toms sound bad? Here’s why.


Tuning drums should not be difficult at all. If you equipment isn’t ****’ed up then you should be good.

People often overlook this simple step when tuning. It’s actually before you start. When you’re in the store, buying your new heads you MUST inspect them!!! I repeat inspect your heads. They are not all made perfect. You want to check for roundness and also look at the seal where the metal ring is often glued together. If it is not in a perfect circle, or the glue is visible at all where the metal ring connects itself, then you have a bad head and it will never tune properly. It will most likely be a warped head. Also look for dents in the head, that shows possible signs of warping as well.

I just received an online order from Guitar center of a bunch of Evans heads and they were all overflowing with glue at the seal causing them to be flat on that spot. These companies will try to sell you them, yes, believe it or not all they care about is making money.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Some are concave at the meeting point and some are just plain bad! You might have to zoom in to see.
Last edited:

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
This is good advice. I have found a few badly manufactured drum heads that were causing bad sounding drums.
It's rare and happened more often in the past, like before the 90's. But yes always inspect the head before you buy it.



Senior Member
Jeez.......I'll remember that next time. I never look for those things, the only "inspection" that I do is a tap test. Thanks for the heads up.

It's just a shame that you found out the way you did.

I don't think I'll ever buy drum stuff online.


Platinum Member
I've run into this with two heads lately. One Evans and One Remo. My bad for not inspecting them.....I've been desperately searching for a store carrying Aquarian Texture Coated and none appear to exist in my area. Buying online it's sort of the model we're moving to, so inspecting products before purchase is becoming harder.

The post is still valid though, if your tom/snare isn't tuning, either the head didn't seat well, or there's something with the head. With both of mine I found that after everything was finger tight, one section was softer than the rest...warped of sorts. You could see it when you turned the head over and looked at a reflection on the shiny side. Wasn't noticeable otherwise. No matter what I did, I couldn't get wild overtones out of the drums with either of the heads. Replaced the head and all was well.


"Uncle Larry"
I'd like to add anther important step...checking to see if your hoops bind the head. Put the head into the hoop (off the drum) and if gravity doesn't allow your head to drop out to the floor unassisted, meaning the hoops are binding the will never tune right even with a good head. A drum head should drop right out of a hoop with only gravity. Anything short of that will introduce tuning problems that never go away.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I'm surprised at that Evans head, their QC is normally excellent. I've never seen that hoop problem, and have also never received a bad/questionable/un-tunable head from them. And no, they don't hand-pick them for their artists.

Depending on the diameter of the shell, I can see where that would be a problem. They should go back to Guitar Center.



Platinum Member
Before Amazon I'd always go to the store and check them out and thump on them, now with their return policy I buy them check them and thump on them and decide if good or not. I haven't had to return any so far-knock on wood. In past going to store I was having more trouble with bad Remos than bad Evans but it's really rare for either now it seems-or just my good fortune.


Platinum Member
I've only ever had one truly bad head - an Evans clear G2 12" - and Ben himself reached out to me when I mentioned it and got me a new one. I do try to buy heads in person, but if I'm having a super busy season I will order five or six snare heads at once online to have on hand. Still, never an issue except that one time.


Platinum Member
The one in the picture is in fact really bad. Goes back.

I usually just hit them while holding the rim to see if they make a little pleasing note or just a plastic tap noise.