snare drum reso tuning


Silver Member
Okay so first of all, when people say "1 turn" does that mean 360 degrees or 180? that always gets me confused.

alright my question is what does the resonant head do on a snare drum? how will the sound differ if the reso was tuned tightly or softly? and what does a thicker/thinner snare reso generally do to the sound? i know that a thicker tom reso resonates more but what of a snare one?

last question, can someone give me an example of a "dry" snare sound? i have no idea what dry means in terms of sound. and fat? wet? these terms confuse me. also, terms like "crack" and "pop" are also words that i cant associate with sound :( these words get used all the time and i never "get" it.

would something like this be considered dry?


Pioneer Member
I may not be able to properly explain all the terms, and if I do someone will have a better explanation anyway but I'll give it a

1 turn is 360 deg yes, 1 revolution of the lug.

Most snare reso heads are fairly close in thickness I believe, I've been playing 25 years and every time I buy one I just ask the clerk for a snare side head and I get a remo hazy snare side head. I keep mine tuned up fairly tight, with the snares pretty tight but I try not to have them SO tight it chokes the sound. Like a tom, a snare also needs to reverberate it's natural sonic qualities.

The sound clip is a fairly dry snare yes. A wet snare to my understanding is one where the wires vibrate a little more and sounds a little fuller. Likewise a Fat sounding snare is one with the heads a little less tight, so the drum sounds HUGE with a lot of depth.

A crack sound, is a brighter high pitched sound like when you hit the rim and snare head together will emphasize the crack of the snare, likewise if you tune the heads up tight.

a pop is a little warmer and mid rangey, and a good quality snare will give you the best of both worlds. I hope this helped a little.


Pioneer Member
Yes, I am not sure exact snare, he plays Sonor though. but that is a beautiful snare sound and yes I nice warm, pop.


Some think actually tuning the reso head is imporatnt and some think it really doesn't influence the sound of the drum too much. I lean more toward the it doesn't influence the sound too much side. I definitely tighten it fairly tight and that's more important to me but I do try to make the thing produce the same tone at each lug.


Platinum Member
A thicker resonant head produces more low-end (bass frequencies) but is less sensitive, which leads to less articulation on the snare wires (and less symphatetic buzzing). The opposite applies to a thinner resonant head.

Tuning the resonant head has a huge effect on a snare drum's sound. A general rule of thumb is to tune the resonant head's pitch to a perfect fourth above the batter head's pitch (If you don't know what a "perfect fourth" means, try googling "music theory intervals"). Because the resonant head is considerably thinner than the batter, tuning this way will enable both heads to vibrate in harmony, which leads to a fuller sound. You can decrease the snare's resonance and sensitivity by decreasing the tension of the resonant head in relation to the batter head. You can also try loosening just the screws that are adjacent to the snare mat -- this is a common trick used to make the snare drier and less sensitive.

Don't believe people who say that resonant side tuning doesn't matter.


Gold Member
Good post, Wavelength.

Just to clarify, though, all snare-side heads are quite thin--there is thin and thinner. While most single-ply batter heads are 10mil thick, snare side heads are way thinner:


Diplomat snare side: 2mil
Ambassador snare side: 3 mil
Emperor snare side: 5 mil


Hazy 200: 2mil
Hazy 300: 3 mil

I find that the 3mil models have plenty of sensitivity on most drums, and that's the thickness most drummers use.

When you need even more sensitivity you can go with a 2mil snare side head. But I find the main use of them is to dry out an overly lively snare drum. You get a shorter sustain with the thinner head. They are also a smidge brighter-sounding.

Some of my snares like the 2mil heads, but most of them have the "standard" 3mil and are very sensitive.


Platinum Member
Also, if someone needed a med wt. SS head for durability over the 2 mil, but still wanted the drier, crisper sound, Remo has a LOW COLLAR Ambassador SS head (SA-0314-TD).

It's 3 mil like the hazy "standard" Ambassador SS, but this one uses crystal clear film, and has has about half the collar height of the hazy.

I've used this head for a long time on most of my snares (Ludwig SS on the others), and it's very sensitive and durable, and has a lot shorter sound than the hazy head.

I just put a Hazy "standard" ambassador on one of my snares that used the low collar version for a couple years (so I really know what the drum sounds like with the LC head), and I was amazed at the difference in sound.

The hazy has a less "crisp" sound (but not "sloppy"), and a longer tone compared to the Low Collar.


Yeah it influences the sound of the snare drum but I don't think in the same way a resonant head on a tom tom does the sound of the tom tom.