New piccolo snare head - How tight?

Skwerly

Senior Member
Hey! New user here, and from what I’ve seen so far, I like the place!

I found an old thread here about snare head (top) tightening, and was wondering if there were any other expert tips out there. I play a REMO Piccolo snare and like that **POP**, which of course means tightening the lugs down pretty hard.

My question: What is TOO hard? I have been known to tighten them about as hard as I can go with just my hands and leave them. I like the sound, but something tells me it isn’t correct.

I have just outfitted my snare with Evans 13” reverse-dot batter head, and it occurred to me that I’m probably using bad technique when I muscle those lugs down.

I have been drumming for quite some years and know the basics (reso side tuned higher than batter, star-pattern, etc etc), but now that I’m getting older I’m wondering about tuning a little more. Yea, kids haha.

Thanks gang! :)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
"Too hard" is when the mylar film separates from the drumhead rim. You will know it by the sudden cracking noise and the complete loss of tension across the drumhead. Up to that point, you should be okay. I like my piccolo about as tight as it can go, and I've never pulled a head out.
 

Skwerly

Senior Member
Ah! Ah, ah, ah! A friend of mine once told me that when you hear the cracking sound the drum head is “sealing” and breaking in, then you begin to re-tighten the lugs. I did not hear that cracking sound this time, as I only put the thing on so tight haha. I wonder if that is why my snares sound odd sometimes...

So, at the point you hear that crack and the drum head loses tension, what exactly is happening? The head is ruined, isn't it?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Don't get me wrong, you can (and will) make a drumhead make a cracking noise even if you're applying safe amounts of tension on it. If it makes an ungodly huge snap and then goes slack somewhere, that's when you've busted it. But you'd almost have to be tuning with a long arm braker bar on your drumkey to achieve this sort of torque. Tune it as high as you like, chances are you will be fine.
 

Skwerly

Senior Member
Oooh okay. Yea I'm speaking of a rather mild POP and then some more tightening. My heads have always been okay and I've never noticed anything weird so i was just wondering. I sure do love the pop of that Piccolo when it's tuned up. :D

Thanks for your time man!
 
I tune to A or thereabouts on my Noble & Cooley piccolo. I recently switched to an Evans 300 from and Evans 200 and am not so happy with that.

Bill
 

Skwerly

Senior Member
I tune to A or thereabouts on my Noble & Cooley piccolo. I recently switched to an Evans 300 from and Evans 200 and am not so happy with that.

Bill
i'm guessing the 300 is a thicker head? these piccolos seem to like a thinner head for that tangy sound. i kinda did the same thing recently lol.
 
Yeah the Evan 200 is very thin, but it made the drum sing. The 300 is OK, just not as nice, especially for brush work. I hate throwing things away, but probably need to make an exception in this case.

Bill
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I used to have one of those things. The shell and lugs were much stronger than the rims. I would think that as long as you're not distorting the rim, you should be fine. They also originally came with Remo Legacy heads. Which aren't made any more. I can't imagine using anything more damped than that though. With no depth I think that picolos need to ring out a bit in order to have some tone.
 

Skwerly

Senior Member
Yea i had the same thought! i may end up changing the reverse dot out for something lighter. it's brutally tough, though. decisions, decisions... :D
 
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