Quick Tuning Question

So a while ago, I was having trouble tuning my brass snare drum but I eventually got it so that it wouldn't have as many overtones. I also bought a few moongel as well and they helped quite a lot in dampening the un-wanted ring. The problem is, even when I tune the snare to a higher pitch, a high pitch buzz resonates from i think the snare wires (but I'm not sure) even with the moon gel on the drum. It has a short decay and doesn't sound like any regular tone which leads me to believe that this sound is characteristic of the snare wires. It's very high pitched, probably two octaves above the snare tone itself and defenitely has a resonant pitch relative to the drum's pitch. I also recently bought a maple snare drum, which seems to not have this specific buzz or at least a lot less. Again, i'm sort of a beginner to tuning, and I was just hoping that someone would know why. I didn't realize how frustrating tuning snare drums could be. Thanks.


Platinum Member
Did you try adjusting the snare strand tension a slight bit to minimize the buzz?
Some snare buzz is normal.
You shouldn't try to get it all out.
Sometimes just a little tweak on the lugs of either the reso or the batter also works to minimize buzz.
Metal drums are more sensitive to this phenomenon than wood.


Staff member
Bob has some good points. Certainly, a little snare buzz adds life to the snare when played with the rest of the kit. You can reduce snare buzz quite easily by detuning the lug either side, & at both ends of the snare wire on the reso head. About half a turn per lug should do it.

I'm not a fan of moongel or any external dampening on a snare drum. Really chokes the life out of the drum IMO. If you really want a dry sound, & dislike almost all overtones, change your batter head to an Evans Genera HD Dry. This rim vented head is really dry but doesn't choke the drum too much. You'll still get a nice crack with some life. So much better controlled than using gel or similar.

If you're unfamiliar with tuning, try looking up the Bob Gatzen tutorial on the evans site or Youtube. It's effective, and gives you the basics as a sound foundation to better tuning skills. Good luck.

Bart Elliott

There are a lot of factors that affect snare buzz. Not only the tuning of the drum itself but the relationship between the batter and resonant head, snare bed, snare wires being centered, snare wire tension, the room you are in (eg. size, liveliness, etc.).

If the drum has a snare bed, you can try detuning the tension rods to each side of the snare wires; both ends.