Drum Skin Tension

i was wondering, do most drummers like the skin very taut, obviously depends on wat sound u want...i like my skins taut, but i like lower end sounds...i havent experimented much with tuning, actually i know nothing bout it, but wat if i liked a taut skin, but wanted to produce a low end sound...cud i have the skin taut and still achieve this???
 

MattClay

Junior Member
Usually the tighter the drum skin the higher pitch the sound no matter what type of drum. There are some great videos about how to tune drums on YouTube by the way.
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
My maple bop kit w/ Ambassadors is cranked up tight for jazz.
My oak kit w/ the Emperors are kinda medium for everything else I play.

Tighter tuning seems to cut through the amps a little better if you're not mic'ed.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Thicker heads will give you a lower pitch when tuned taut. They naturally vibrate at a lower pitch, due to the extra mass. Also, bigger drums will help give you lower pitches...
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Like caddy says, If you like a deeper sound you should go with two ply batter heads and deeper drums tuned medium to tight. Loose tuning tends to not sound as good from afar as it does from where you sit.
If you want a Jazzy sound you should tune tight for low volume playing. You get more reaction from a tighter head and it is easier to articulate.
The drum dimensions, head choice, and tuning work together to control the sound of a drum. Experience and experimentation is the answer.
 

muckypops

Senior Member
All this is good. I have a fusion set but would like to tune lower. What type of head would be best to get the lowest tuning out of a tom? If I tune the reso lower will that matter or maybe even try a 2 ply reso?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
All this is good. I have a fusion set but would like to tune lower. What type of head would be best to get the lowest tuning out of a tom? If I tune the reso lower will that matter or maybe even try a 2 ply reso?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Try a 2-ply batter AND reso, and tune both low. That will be about as low as you can go. Well, that is unless the wood grain inside your shell runs vertical, then it will magically produce a lower pitch...
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
All this is good. I have a fusion set but would like to tune lower. What type of head would be best to get the lowest tuning out of a tom? If I tune the reso lower will that matter or maybe even try a 2 ply reso?
Fusion kits are designed to be kind of neutral (meaning in the middle of the drum sound spectrum) as far as dimensions go. A fusion kit will sound lower with two plies top and bottom. If that's what you are after then try it! Many drummers use two plies as resos to get a deeper sound from a shallow drum.
 

muckypops

Senior Member
Excellent advice so far....

So I am assuming that theoretically if you like the tension on your single ply head but want it tuned lower with the same tension you would want a thicker head or a 2 ply head. Is this correct?

Then to take it the step further if say you get as thick as you can get on the batter head and still want to get lower you start going thicker on the reso 'til you get what you are after?
 
T

thatguykalem

Guest
I really love Evans G2s or Remo Emperors tuned medium-high tightness on my toms. Makes them sing with a like tap, but boom with a hard hit.

I have a friend who's dad is pretty green. He uses single-ply Evans heads, and thinks that the idea is to tune your heads as tight as you possibly can. They're so tight that you hit them and the shells don't even resonate. It just sounds like you're hitting slightly different kinds of cardboard. It's terrible, and don't even get me started about his bass pedal...
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
Well, that is unless the wood grain inside your shell runs vertical, then it will magically produce a lower pitch...
Strangely, vertical grain drums will also tend to produce people who mistake science for magic. Probably best to just stick thick heads.
 
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