Found the secret to tuning drums!

Frank

Gold Member
Purchasing a Tune Bot was the best little investment I ever made in my tone. Not embarrassed to say it does a far better job than me with ears alone. I have great tone - and it is the Same every gig.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
There's always gonna be the guitarist that tunes by ear and not a tuner, the bass player that doesn't need to use a compressor because of his great technique and the drummer that doesn't think they need a device to facilitate tuning. For me however I use a tuner, compressor and a Tune Bot. The Tune Bot is just a tool that makes things quicker, easier, precise, keep track and better understand variations and experimentation.
 

wraub

Well-known member
As a bass player, I do use a tuner, but I don't use a compressor. :D
That said, a bass has defined notes that usually must be in harmony with other instruments that have defined notes, so an A is an A for all. Drums aren't that.

On drums, I use a torque key for tuning. I tune by ear, but I found the "turn each lug a quarter turn or so until it's right" method had too much variability for me, the torque key offers some repeatability.
I took a drum apart a couple days ago, heads off, dust bunnies released, cleaned the heads and put it all back together using the torque key, and it sounds really good, imo.
I guess that's what matters.
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
Sounds like the issue has two camps. Pro-Bot/No-Bot. A middle path might be to borrow one and try it. Decide afterward.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
That said, a bass has defined notes that usually must be in harmony with other instruments that have defined notes, so an A is an A for all. Drums aren't that.

". . . and it sounds really good, imo. I guess that's what matters."

Right you are, Wraub. A drum is in tune when you say it's in tune. If it sounds good, that's definitely all that matters. And "good," of course, will mean different things to different drummers.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I vote for louder is more good-er. 😎

If a drum doesn’t sound good, you’re not playing it loud enough. (T-shirts available) 🤣

If it's super loud, I guess listeners might be so put off that they won't even notice the tuning.
 

Trigger

Senior Member
I love my tune bot. Best 150 bucks I spent. Especially on a larger kit when you're trying to get toms in tune with each other, it's a lifesaver
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
This a great thread but once you tune them where is the “Found the secret to playing drums “ thread?
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
This a great thread but once you tune them where is the “Found the secret to playing drums “ thread?
There is no secret, didn't you know? As long as you think you're good, that's all that matters.

Nobody "needs" practice pads or instruction or feedback. Just sit down and hit the drums. There is no wrong way or "better" way of doing it. As long as you're happy with your playing, that's all that counts.
 
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J-W

Well-known member
There is no secret, didn't you know? As long as you think you're good, that's all that matters.

Nobody "needs" practice pads or instruction or feedback. Just sit down and hit the drums. There is no wrong way or "better" way of doing it. As long as you're happy with your playing, that's all that counts.

Lol! I see what you did there. :sneaky:
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Oh oh. You’re in danger of contradicting your prior statement. 😳 Are we now considering the opinion of someone besides the drummer? 🙄

Everyone matters to the extent to which he or she wishes to matter. Ninety-nine percent of all listeners have untrained ears and really don't matter at all, at least not in the manner we believe they should matter. The matter really comes down to that. So yes, the matter is left mostly to the discretion of the drummer.

I've done my best to use "matter" as much as possible. I'm not sure why.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I learned tuning first from Bob Gatzen VHS. Then I got a Tune-bot and I learned even more. Then my puppy ate the Tune-bot. But I think I'm good now, maybe not the foremost expert but I can do it well and quick. I have gratitude for both products because they were my "teachers."
 

jimb

Member
It still hasnt been disproved to me that the process of correct tuning is at best snake oil and at worst bs.
Two tracks Ive heard recently a live Doobie Brothers tune and a tune from a young new band. The Doobie snare adjusted so high it sounded like a hammer hitting a small empty oil drum. The new band snare adjusted so low and loose it sounded like walking on broken glass.
Which snare was "tuned" right?
 

J-W

Well-known member
It still hasnt been disproved to me that the process of correct tuning is at best snake oil and at worst bs.
Two tracks Ive heard recently a live Doobie Brothers tune and a tune from a young new band. The Doobie snare adjusted so high it sounded like a hammer hitting a small empty oil drum. The new band snare adjusted so low and loose it sounded like walking on broken glass.
Which snare was "tuned" right?

Oooooh! I love a riddle.
It's the same snare. "Hammer on an oil drum" and "broken glass" could both describe the same drum. The Doobie Brother's are both an old and new band (since they have many new members).
Did I get it right?

But seriously, there is no "right". The process of tuning is just a means to get you the sound you are after. Whether it's Bob's methods, the use of a tunebot, or simply turning lugs until it sounds the way you want it to sound, it doesn't matter. I believe the point is that there are methods to get you there sooner and more consistently than had you just started randomly turning lugs on the top and bottom.
 

jimb

Member
The process of tuning is just a means to get you the sound you are after

Guess I was playing Devils Advocate just a bit. But seriously I never "tuned" my ole 6 lugger, just create a bit of tension and place a sock full of coins on the top to kill the overtones....sounds like a snare and no one has ever said anything to the contrary, yet drummers fuss over these things like crazy....I dont get it.
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
I have a drum dial and a tune bot. I still can't figure out the tune-bot. The drum dial allows me to check for evenness in the lug tensions. I can read a drum chart or a lead sheet. Harmonically, I'm an illiterate, except by way of my hearing. I should've studied piano.
 

Pauly

Active member
I actually went with Rob Brown’s technique on his you tube channel. It worked great! I did a little tweaking here and there, but the end result was great! Fast and easy!! Check it out!
 

Houndog1964

Active member
I actually went with Rob Brown’s technique on his you tube channel. It worked great! I did a little tweaking here and there, but the end result was great! Fast and easy!! Check it out!
That method tunes them pretty low , I gotta wonder how good drums tuned that way sound out front .
 
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