Found the secret to tuning drums!

yammyfan

Senior Member
Ferrone's avoidance of tuning isn't unusual. Lots of drummers are focused only on the excellence of their playing. Tuning, heads, shells, and so on are minutiae they'd rather not immerse themselves in. Just showing up and drumming is one of the chief advantages of having a tech at your service.
This is why I'm so bullish on everyone owning a Tune-Bot. It blows my mind that there's any kind of resistance whatsoever to buying a device that will put an end to mediocre sounding drums once and for all.

It doesn't matter how good you think you are when it comes to tuning. You can do better - MUCH better.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
This is why I'm so bullish on everyone owning a Tune-Bot. It blows my mind that there's any kind of resistance whatsoever to buying a device that will put an end to mediocre sounding drums once and for all.

It doesn't matter how good you think you are when it comes to tuning. You can do better - MUCH better.

I've adopted a Tune-Bot-neutral outlook. I don't want one, but I won't discourage anyone else from using them. For me, reliance on a tuning device would be an annoyance, but I'm also a guy who dislikes cell phones and other gadgets. Were I displeased with the sound of my drums, my stance might be different, but I'm not, so finding solutions isn't an issue. I do understand, though, that many swear by Tune-Bots. If you like what they're doing for you, there's no reason not to continue.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
A word to all on the tumultuous topic of tuning: There are at least 3,572 ways to address the task. Each has merits and drawbacks. Select the formula you like most and proceed with playing. Tuning is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The method that allows you to tune less and drum more is the one worth pursuing. That discovery will be different for everyone.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I learned the old way, over a summer, after guidance from my teacher on how to do it properly. When I wasnt working my teenage fast food job, I was either playing drums or taking heads off and putting them back on. By the end of the summer I had a pretty good handle on it.

As for the TuneBot, I'm not against it. I'm not gonna run out and get one though.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
This must have been the way that conversations went back before electronic guitar tuners went mainstream. The tuning fork guys were happy with their method and nothing was going to change their mind. 🤗

I certainly don't mean to insult anyone or bloviate about the Tune-Bot. It just blows my mind that there is a $99 device out there that is 100% guaranteed to substantially improve the sound of a drum kit and guys are "meh" about it. Everybody raves about how great the drums sound in those DCP reviews and showdowns. Those drums are tuned with a Tune-Bot.

Anyway, I don't want to bludgeon the point to death. You can lead a horse to water, as they say ;)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
This must have been the way that conversations went back before electronic guitar tuners went mainstream. The tuning fork guys were happy with their method and nothing was going to change their mind. 🤗

I certainly don't mean to insult anyone or bloviate about the Tune-Bot. It just blows my mind that there is a $99 device out there that is 100% guaranteed to substantially improve the sound of a drum kit and guys are "meh" about it. Everybody raves about how great the drums sound in those DCP reviews and showdowns. Those drums are tuned with a Tune-Bot.

Anyway, I don't want to bludgeon the point to death. You can lead a horse to water, as they say ;)
And there are also guys who just wont stop going on about how everyone should have one.

A guitar is a melodic instrument that tunes to specific notes, drums are not. There is no standard tuning for drums. A tuning device is not a necessity.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I would love an actual tune bot. Like a device controller by my phone which could tune individual lugs and test the head based on me saying I want an A on the batter and a F# on the reso. But for now I'm quite happy to learn and borrow my friends drum dial :)
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
And there are also guys who just wont stop going on about how everyone should have one.

A guitar is a melodic instrument that tunes to specific notes, drums are not. There is no standard tuning for drums. A tuning device is not a necessity.
Just a bit of clarification - the Tune-Bot isn't designed for tuning drums to notes. It's purpose (and it has several) is to facilitate even tuning all around the drum head. A cleared drum head sounds better than one that hasn't been cleared. There is little debate about that.

I don't mean to go on about tuning devices. Sometimes I feel like I'm standing around a BBQ watching a bunch of guys struggling to light the fire with a flint when I've got a lighter in my pocket. I just feel compelled to offer it up.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Just a bit of clarification - the Tune-Bot isn't designed for tuning drums to notes. It's purpose (and it has several) is to facilitate even tuning all around the drum head. A cleared drum head sounds better than one that hasn't been cleared. There is little debate about that.

I don't mean to go on about tuning devices. Sometimes I feel like I'm standing around a BBQ watching a bunch of guys struggling to light the fire with a flint when I've got a lighter in my pocket. I just feel compelled to offer it up.
I'm aware of how it works. A Drum Dial will do the same thing, as will a Torque Key. Neither of which are necessary if you just listen to the drum.

Everyone should learn how to tune the drum by ear. It's not hard, it just takes time at first.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I picked up the iDrumpro tuner app because I had enough credit to not actually pay for it. It's not a bad app at all, allows reso, batter, individual lug, and note tuning. After tuning how I was taught (taps around each lug) I fired up the app and it happily showed me that on all of my toms, 1 lug (out of 40) was off by a 1/2 turn. The app also showed me that my frequencies are also perfectly stepped. Glad I didn't waste any money on any other gadget.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I picked up the iDrumpro tuner app because I had enough credit to not actually pay for it. It's not a bad app at all, allows reso, batter, individual lug, and note tuning. After tuning how I was taught (taps around each lug) I fired up the app and it happily showed me that on all of my toms, 1 lug (out of 40) was off by a 1/2 turn. The app also showed me that my frequencies are also perfectly stepped. Glad I didn't waste any money on any other gadget.
I had one of them I paid £7 for, was never amazed by it but a useful bit of software. Then I upgraded my phone and apparently to get the version which worked on the new phones was a £2 pcm subscription. Balls to that!
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm aware of how it works. A Drum Dial will do the same thing, as will a Torque Key. Neither of which are necessary if you just listen to the drum.

Everyone should learn how to tune the drum by ear. It's not hard, it just takes time at first.
We'll have to agree to disagree on your first point. I have a Drum Dial and a Torque Key and they aren't even in the same league as the Tune-Bot. As everybody knows, even tension around a drum head does not equal even pitches. Again, I think there's little debate about that.

DD_TB.jpg

As for your second point; the Tune-Bot doesn't do the work for you (sorry BonsaiMagpie! 😁) You still have to know how to tune. The Tune-Bot just takes the guesswork out of it. Your ears can be fooled. The Tune-Bot cannot.

I picked up the iDrumpro tuner app because I had enough credit to not actually pay for it. It's not a bad app at all, allows reso, batter, individual lug, and note tuning. After tuning how I was taught (taps around each lug) I fired up the app and it happily showed me that on all of my toms, 1 lug (out of 40) was off by a 1/2 turn. The app also showed me that my frequencies are also perfectly stepped. Glad I didn't waste any money on any other gadget.
That's good to hear. The app is better than nothing and certainly better than guessing. Did you set out to hit a specific pitch for each lug and nailed it 39/40 times or did you ballpark everything and then check your work afterwards? At any rate - your hearing is exceptionally good! (y)
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I think it's like 50 ways to leave your lover-in the end all 50 you leave your lover. So 50 ways to tune your drums and in the end they are tuned. It reminds me of arguing with my organic.chem professor-he'd give us a list of reagents and then state synthesize this compound the best way. WTF??? It was what he thought was best-one for sure I know I was right because less steps and more product. Didn't matter his way was best. There is more than one way to skin a cat-I watched countless students in AnatPhys do so for years. I always wondered why cats-a rat would take up less space and they are more abundant than any mammalian species on planet. One day some student will be dissecting my body at the local Medical college I guess. Pay it forward sort of thing.
 
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