Need tuning help


Junior Member
Hi All! I'll make this short and sweet. I am struggling with tuning at the moment. I am considering getting a Drumdial to help some.

Does anyone A) have any feedback to give me on the Drumdial

or B) have any help or tips to getting my kit tuned better.

I know how a lot of purists feel but please don't respond with comments about how awesome YOU are at tuning, and how the Drumdial is a waste, or anything along those lines.

Also please don't tell me to just practice at it. While I understand this I have been struggling with it for a while now. Therefore without knowing a correct method, all I'm practicing is doing it incorrectly. I guess what I'm saying is that even if you have some ultra basic principle that is second nature to you that you figure I already know, I might not. Just frustrated and need help. Thanks ahead of time.


Silver Member
Hi, if you don't give any specific information on what exactly you are struggling with, people will inevitably tell you to practise more :) what is it, the kick, snare, toms? What sound are you looking for? Have you gone through the stickies in the gear/drums section?

I dont have any experience with Drumdial. I doubt it's going to all the dirty work for ya :)


Junior Member
To be honest, basically everything. My drums sounds like crap. I guess if I had to say which I'm having the most trouble with it would be the toms (10, 12, 14) and then the snare


Platinum Member
First off I'll assume you're talking about toms, that there's nothing wrong with the drums, and the heads are not brand new. It can be difficult to help someone without being there with them and their drums but I'll give you my method.

I start with the bottom head and get it in tune with itself (same note at all lugs) at a medium tension (couple of turns above finger tight??). To get a fat rock sound I use a 2 ply head on top and tune that real loose. Get it a little higher than you want and then one by one bring it down to slack and then up again til the wrinkle is out. I tend to go by feel also (hard to explain). Do this at each lug. The notes may not all be the same but often this doesn't matter for this type of sound. Pick it up and (or if it's mounted) hit it. Sound good? It's usually good or pretty close at this point. If it's flapping or buzzing tighten a little all around until it stops. This works well for most contemporary styles of music but it depends on your taste. Also, have realistic expectations. Your drums aren't going to sound like a recording.

For the snare crank the bottom. Top to taste. I like it tight but not ridiculous.
Bass drum batter loose, front higher and dampen to taste.


Platinum Member
For the snare crank the bottom.
Now, I know what he/she'll say. "Okay, I got it pretty tight". Let me tell you- you probably didn't on your first time cranking the reso. Go tighter. Maybe once more. THEN try it. I'm just trying to save you some time here :)


Silver Member
There are a couple of good vids on YouTube....well there are lots of vids of tuning....the two that helped me were the one with John Good and the other with Dave Weckl. The interesting thing about John Good's method is the shell tapping to determine the fundamental of the shell itself. That's not a necessity, but it makes sense and gives good results for me.

Lots of guys use the drum dial...nothin wrong with that at all. A pro friend of mine uses it and gets great results. If it works for you then it is good. The corollary to that is that tuning by ear is great ear training and likely faster for between song adjustments at a show.

John Good is an extremely respected source on all things "drum". I suspect his vid will provide excellent insight.