Du you tune your drums to a certain pitch.


Junior Member
Just wonder how many drummers actually tune there kits utilising a piano or any other method to get a desired pitch. I am looking into this but was wondering if I’m getting too fussy.


Platinum Member
The only time I have ever tuned to a particular pitch is when a client has specifically asked me to. Otherwise, i tune "by ear." That's not to say you shouldn't. Experiment and have fun!


Platinum Member

I tune em till they start singing like jailbirds. Dont care what they sing as long as they sing. The sizes take care of the pitch seperation.



"Uncle Larry"
When I'm done tuning my kit, the toms sing definite notes. I tune by tension, but it will correspond to a note when I'm done. Not sure which notes. Same tensions on each tom, size doesn't matter. Like Abe said, the individual tom sizes handles the pitch separation.


Platinum Member

I tune em till they start singing like jailbirds. Dont care what they sing as long as they sing. The sizes take care of the pitch seperation. ...

I have 7 different acoustic kits. Every drum has it's own "sweet spot", and no two similar sized drum are identical. I tune by ear. Always have, always will.....​


Gold Member
All drums emit a frequency when hit. I just don't know the exact value of mine when I tune them, but I subjectively know the area I want to tune in.


Platinum Member
I don't think so. I'm usually looking for my toms to sound "fat" and deep... I guess there's likely a low-note I generally tune around, I just don't pay attention. When it sounds good, it sounds good.


Senior Member
i don't at the moment but i can imagine that in certain studio environments you might want to.

sometimes i find that my toms might clash with the notes in a particular song. its just that i'm a bit rubbish with tuning right now so i find it hard to adjust mid rehearsal.


Senior Member
Yes and no. Great answer right? I aim for perfect intervals not a perfect note, been using a tune-bot to dial those in but it depends. On a 4-piece I wouldn't bother at all, just tune the 2 toms till they sound their best. However atm I play a 6-piece and getting all those toms near perfect takes awhile and without some reference its damn hard. So atm my set is in perfect fourths from bass to smallest tom, then my snare is purely tuned by ear. Bringing the bass into the intervals really helps to make the kit sound cohesive.
I tune with the greatest speed and accuracy when utilizing an outside reference pitch that isn't effected by whatever adjustments I make to the drum. It takes me much longer trying to arbitrarily even out the lugs because whichever lug I use as a reference invariably changes as I make adjustments to the adjacent lugs. Eventually, it can be done, but it seems like a lot of unnecessary working in circles.

With an outside reference pitch, I can take a more direct route to getting all the lugs even. Not to mention the convenience of being able to consistently reproduce any tuning by simply keeping track of the notes used. It makes it easy to try out different tunings and still be able to return to the one you liked best with minimal effort. It's also much more accurate than drum tuning tools like the drum dial, or all the various tension/torque keys that I've seen.


I tune to the shell and let that be the deciding factor. The only reason I may fudge that a bit is to get them sequentially sounding correct for the amount of toms that I'm using. For my toms, I try to get the batter and resonant heads as close to the same pitch as possible. The snare and bass drums are always just to my liking without any thought to the actual note that it will be displaying. I've been doing this for years and have yet to find a better alternative.