Is it normal for the bottom snare hoop to be bent when tuned up?


Senior Member
Like the title says!

I noticed some time ago that when i go to put away my snare drums on my shelf, they rock back and forth a little bit. This is when i have them placed flat down with the batter side up.

Obviously there are the snare beds, so when one gets the drum somewhat in tune, i suppose not all the tension rods will have advanced the same distance? I could see this leading to some hoop distortion. How much can I say is safe distortion?

It is really noticeable on a 12" snare that I have. Laying the drum on a flat surface, if i rock it totally to one side and hold it there, there's like a good quarter inch of space between the hoop and the counter top.

Is my tuning method at fault? I try to get the pitches pretty close to each other, but i allow the pitch to be lower at the lugs adjacent to the snare beds.

This of course does not occur on the top hoop, it lays very flat on the counter top, as there is really even tension.

But i should say i see this effect on 3 of my snares right now.


Platinum Member

I have yet to notice any ill effect (obviously one cannot accidentally put the warping sections in the wrong place when remounting the hoop since it's locked into one position by snare wires) but if it really bothers you, you can simply tune the snare bed-adjacent rods up more.

I find the best sound is often with the outer rods tuned (sometimes drastically) higher than the bed-adjacent ones.

Now, if anyone has the opposite warping, where the bed-adjacent lugs are higher than the other sides – that might be an issue.


Gold Member
Back in my youth, when I was still learning to tune snare drums, I tried the current fashion of tuning the snare side head extremely tight - with the resulting warping of the snare side head. As I currently practice snare tuning, I would say that you are waaaaay overtightening your resonant snare head. If you have 1.6mm hoops, it's quite easy to warp the hoops, so that may be what you are experiencing. But, if you have heavier hoops, you are over tightening - at least that's my opinion.



Gold Member
My hoops are dead straight.. BUT i also don't believe you should tighten the snare side until you have choked all life out of the snare


Gold Member
My hoops are dead straight.. BUT i also don't believe you should tighten the snare side until you have choked all life out of the snare
Between the two of us, we'll eventually kill this over-tightening of snare resos, won't we, ICE? Spread the news!



Platinum Member
Nothing is "normal" when it comes to bottom snare head tension and the rim.

If it sounds good with a warped rim, then there's no shame in having a warped rim.

Feel free to twist the rods any way you want. Go nuts. You own it.


Gold Member
Warping is not normal. Think about this, if there is even pressure at every lug point, they cannot warp. They warp because of uneven tension around the drum. If there is uneven tension around the drum, you cannot possibly have the head in tune with itself, thereby introducing horrible overtones and just plain mud. As mentioned, some have been told to de-tune some rods to calm the overtones. The overtone problem is better dealt with by adjusting the intervals in pitch between the top and bottom heads.

Also, if you are way over tight on some rods, you can cause problems on wood drums with single point lugs. It can lead to tear out or causing the drum to go out of round over time.


Platinum Member
The snare side head won't even be at even tension all the way around if you wanted an even pitch from it, due to the snare beds. Snare wires will choke the vast majority of its overtones, and generally we don't want a lot of sustain from our snare side heads in the first place.


Platinum Member
It's not "bad" for the drum, but what has happened is that you have tensioned the head more where the hoop is warped than where it is not. So you've stretched the head more so in that spot than in others, and, being a plastic head, it won't return to its normal shape. So remove the head and toss it. Take the warped hoop and bend it back into flat if necessary (check it on a glass table or counter top). With a new head, tension the hoop so that it pulls evenly, counting the number of drum key revolutions on each lug as you go. Check the hoop for flatness on a table top as you go. Once the tension is up to where you'd like it, fine tune the drum with very small turns. If you need to adjust the overall tension, turn each lug the same amount, maybe a quarter turn each at a time.

Heavy, sturdier hoops, like those found on high end kits, will be less prone to this sort of flexing, but are more expensive and will have different sound properties, too.


Platinum Member
pictures would help

sounds like its warped from over tightening..

I have a snare that the hoops are not even close to round. still works great and sounds great... but can sometimes give grief when tuning and is not IDEAL.

I wouldn't worry too much about it.. as long as it sounds good


Platinum Member
I think it's normal for a snare side hoop to distort. If you're going for even tension around the head, it's just gonna happen since the beds are always a bit lower than the rest of the bearing edge.

I had a Joyful Noise TKO brass with really deep and narrow beds, so at the extremes, the choices were either crank the hoop A LOT near the gates just to get the wrinkes out (which massively distorted the hoops), or live with a ton of wrinkles in the reso head there.

I tried it both ways, starting first with living with the wrinkles but really didn't like the lack of reso participation in the openness of the drum. So I cranked the hell out of the reso, warped the reso hoop and got the head even all the way around. Still didn't like the sound of the drum as it was still too choked.

So I sold it.

My Ludwig snares (402 and BB) have much shallower and wider beds so the choices aren't so extreme. I still tune the head so it's even all the way around, and yeah, the hoop still distorts a little bit, but it's it's fairly minor and the drum sounds fully open and right as rain.

My vote: Normal
Bumping this thread because I have the same issue. I have an old PDP Ace brass snare and I had installed new DW True Hoops when I got it, and I noticed the other day that the snare side hoop is bent where the snare beds are. Is that normal or am I tuning wrong? The head isn't super tight but I have the same pitch at each tension rod.

Good Karma

Well-known member
I've never had this happen that I'm aware of, that's seems extreme to me. But what others have said ,maybe not. I never tighten the 4 tension rods closest to the snare wires as tight to cut down on excessive buzz from the toms or guitar amps.
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Platinum Member
Back in the 80s when I was reading modern drummer, I read in some article about torqueing the snare bed lugs and loosening the others or vice versa. I still do it some but not as drastic as I used to do. As a result I really warped the hoops.