How to get the BEST sound out of your snare?


Okay so I tuned it properly it's not tuning issues and yes it sounds PRETTY good, like actually not bad at all. I'm all about groove, feel and the sound of the drums, Thing is i'm VERY inspired by Chad Smith, I just LOVE the way he makes the drums sound oh my gosh!

I'd love to get that nice punchy sound out of my snare, so is there any techniques or ways to get a great sound out of the snare that I havn't listed here: Tuned the drum good, do my ghost notes on the head directly and do rim shots for the main notes/accented notes (hit even harder) I'm aware he hits verryyyy hard.

If theres any other tips you guys can give me to get that great punchy Chad Smith sound i'd really appreciate it :)

And if you guys don't know Chad Smith, YOU SHOULD hes red hot chilli peppers drummer, heres a video of him:


Senior Member
He seems to have the snare tuned really tight. I think the reso is almost as tight as it goes, and the batter a little looser. Chad uses a Remo Controlled Sound X for the snare batter, and a Hazy Ambassador for the reso.

But don't be disappointed if you can't get the sound of Chad Smith. EQ and mic's do wonders, and it's hard to get your drums to sound like that in real life.



Gold Member
I want to echo an earlier post, because it deserves reinforcement. countless websites devoted to music are flooded with this basic question . . . " How do I get to sound like. . . ." There is nothing wrong with the question, but reality is it is about impossible for you to sound identical because of thousands of variables that went into hearing what you heard and want to emulate.

Here is what I mean. . . Let's say you heard a clip in You tube or a CD (record for us old farts). What you heard on a particular snare drum was affected by this:

Type of drum played
material of drum (metal, wood, other)
Heads on drum (type)
Heads on drum (brand)
tension on heads, top and bottom
snares used
snare tension
sticks used on head
how the players used the sticks under playing conditions at the time it was recorded
how the drum was miced
close acoustics around the mic when recorded
acoustics of room where the recording was made
amount of energy that the player was exerted at the time
Crowd noise that affected the recording
How the sound engineer felt that day, and how he heard what he mixed
what equipment was used in the recording (make of microphone, mixing equipment, etc.)
how the engineer decided to select the sound that he wanted at that particular moment.
Quality of recorded tracks
Quality of transfer of recording to media on CD, etc.
Quality of reproduction equipment that let you hear the clip
Your state of mind, quality of hearing, etc. when you heard the clip and said, "I like that!"
How you are going to transfer the perceived sound to a drum in front of you that may not at all be set up like the one you heard!

Now, the same drummer you heard on one clip may not sound the same on the same equipment played in a different venue that next time he plays.
drummers almost always tinker with equipment between sets, or even switch drums on occasion, and you may not know it!

Now, you and a multitude of others want to sound like Bono (or whomever) and want to know how to achieve it. The answer is that you can't. The best that you can do is come close, and even that is a problem, because how you set up your own drum in front of you will often sound much different to an audience 10 feet away! even worse, that same drum will sound even different to some one in the same audience 100 feet way, depending on acoustics. The audience is not hearing through your ears, attached to your head, with your sinus cavities, with your tastes of what sounds good or not.

This is meant to be a friendly answer to the impossible question. Discover your sound, fine tune it as needed, and be happy! :eek:)


Gold Member
Here's my formula that gets me compliments on my snare sound often:

1. Crank the bottom head very tight. The bottom head to me is the articulator, basically it determines how quickly the snares will rattle against it and the head & speak. The snare beds pretty much nullify getting the head clear (in tune with itself), but I do my best none the less. ()

2. Tune the top head to the ideal response or feel for your personal taste. I like it on the lower ringy-er side so I go just tight enough that fast rolls will articulate in the middle of the head without the trampoline effect ruining the flow. The key is to clear the head matching it lug to lug and again, dampen the opposite (now bottom) head in order to hear just the head you"re working on.

3. Tension the snares so that a ppp tap in the dead center of the batter head gets snare response that's not choked off at all.

With this formula every snare drum in the galaxy from a $50 pawn shop piece of garbage to a $1000+ snare will sound perfectly fantastic.