Does anybody perform live with 5-ish" snare?


Platinum Member
Pretty much every gig I've done have been with either a 14x5 or 14x5.5 snare. The only exception was a run of 4-5 gigs ten years ago where I brought my 14x6.5 Black Beauty with me, but because of shoddy hardware that was soon retired from live use.

Never had any issue with the sound of my snares live. In a blind test I would almost definitely fail to consistently pick which one was deeper, given a 5" and a 6.5" snare, especially when mic'ed up and played through a PA system.

Rock Salad

Junior Member
First time back? Since the 80's?!
Bring the kitchen sink! Chuckle about it later.
Watch your gear! things grow legs
And knock 'em dead!


Junior Member
I sort of see depth as a flavor, and I choose it depending on what kind of mood I'm in that day. My 6.5" Supra and my 5" Acro are pretty much equally likely to see gigs. I'm not sure that either one inherently cuts more but I'm also not competing with other loud instruments.


Platinum Member
I switch between 6.5" and 5".

For live stuff it's neither here nor there.

I am using the acro prototype a lot at the moment in an 8 piece soul band and it does the 60s better that anything I own, I am tempted to get a beater acro for gigging as I don't want to replace the original strainer which I don't think would handle gigging.


Platinum Member
I'll go one step farther and use a 13". I dont really care for a 14" snare anymore. I'm shortening it by an inch in every direction.


Platinum Member
I've got a 5x14 Ludwig Standard in matte aluminium that is a lovely drum, but since getting my Guru 7x13 walnut stave and my 6.5x14" Ludwig Black magic, it's kind of sat in its case unloved and unused. I need to pull it out again at some point. It's a great drum, but the other two just sound so fat and full-bodied...


Silver Member
I have a 14x6. Does that count?
It seems to have the perfect balance between depth & punch.


Well-known member
ive played with live with snares ranging from 4" depth to 8" depth, depending on the gig, also depends what sound i fancy.

my go to 5" and 5.5" snares lately are a pearl virgil donati 14x5 maple/birch, and a mapex .chris adler maple/walnut 12x5.5

all depends on what sound works for you, and what you feel comfy playing with :)

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Depends a lot on the actual snare, but all things being otherwise equal I would use 5.5 for more snare side articulation (shorter note and snap) and 6.5 for larger dynamic and fuller body. This is based on long term ownership oftwo identical 14 snares in different depths ( Pearl ultracasts). Gig wise it makes very little difference it’s in the hands.

Just play the snare you like the best, gut feeling, intellectual thoughts get in the way.


Senior Member
I have fourteen snares, and I just pick the snare that sounds best for the situation. Oftentimes I'll bring two, so I have options for the room (or whatever) I'm playing in. Usually it's a 6.5x14 for rock gigs, 5x14 for jazzier or faster things. For Cygnus X-2 I play a 5x14 1959 Slingerland Radio King, but prior to acquiring that drum I used a 5x14 Sonor Delite. This weekend I have an outdoor latin jazz gig and I plan on bringing my 5x14 Supra and my 6.5x13 DW Craviotto as snare options. Next Thursday I'm playing an Allman Brothers set with a buddy of mine, and will be bringing the LM400 for that Butch Trucks thing.

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch has been playing a 5" X 14" Gretsch USA COB snare on tour for years (26" bass drum/13" or 14" rack tom/16" floor tom).
Oh yeah, he also has a back up snare drum: a second 5" X 14" Gretsch USA COB. Just sayin'.


Gold Member
I rarely take a snare deeper than 6” deep to my gigs . I love the 5” depth snares most .