Snare drum tuning tips

Stroman

Platinum Member
Thank you. It’s just that the drum doesn’t sound right which is why I’m trying to figure it out.
At this point I am not sure what else to suggest based on verbal descriptions. Maybe if you posted a video of your process we could hear and see what is going on. Or you might consult with a drummer near you who has more tuning experience. I'm not sure what else we can do.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I start out even and finger tight. It usually works out well.

Some people go up to max and press to seat the head, some don't. Do you have to? Depends on the drum and head.

My own drums I don't really have issues with, but sometimes in schools I do run in to issues. I make sure to clean and even lube the edges with a bit of wax. Even if the hoops are bent or the drum has some issues it can work. In some cases the best sound came from the lugs not being even. I particularly remember a 14" FT.

Anyway.

Tightening a lug of course has impact on the whole head. Depending on how even it's stretched, seated, how old it is or if it had flaws form the get go things may vary. Tightening a lug on one side might very well tighten the head at the adjacent lug.

If you're going to high, sure, take those high lugs down or every thing down before you continue.


Tuning up to pitch is really all about it just being easier to hear if you go down and tune up to where you're going. Goes for any instrument.
 

hippy chip

Silver Member
You are still having problems? www.tunadrum.com I told you about it a month and a half ago. When I bought my first set of drums 6 years ago I had never tuned a drum before. I bought new heads, and did a search for drum tuning. I followed the directions on the site, and when my pro drummer friend came over to help me tune he didn't even pick up a key. He sat down, tapped each drum a couple of times, smiled, and started playing. Naturally I picked up a guitar and played along :)
 

pt3407

Senior Member
You are still having problems? www.tunadrum.com I told you about it a month and a half ago. When I bought my first set of drums 6 years ago I had never tuned a drum before. I bought new heads, and did a search for drum tuning. I followed the directions on the site, and when my pro drummer friend came over to help me tune he didn't even pick up a key. He sat down, tapped each drum a couple of times, smiled, and started playing. Naturally I picked up a guitar and played along :)
I looked at that guide and it says to slacken off the tension rods near the snare beds but I’m trying to get all of the pitches the same for each tension rod to possibly find the sound I’m looking for.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
I just changed heads on my 5x15 Legacy drum and I just did equal turns on each rod so the hoop stays flat and the pitch is lower on the 4 rods on either side of the snare bed. I just made sure the over all tension of the snare-side head was good and tight and the drum sounds excellent. Hard to get a bad sound out of that drum though...

I should also add that the Legacy drum, like all Ludwig snare drums, has a very wide, gradual bed, so lower tension on the bed works on that type of drum. If you have a vintage drum, or any other drum with narrow, deep beds or crimped beds, you will probably need to crank the rods around the beds down more to get the head to seat properly and achieve good snare response.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
Lot of good advice here. Something i didnt see mentioned is that the lugs on batter side of the drum will affect the pitch of the lugs on the reso side and vice versa. So if you cant get a lug in tune on the reso, reduce or increase the tension on its partner on the batter side.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Snare drums are probably the easiest drum to make sound good but it's probably also the most frustrating for beginners because it will never sound like a recording.
They don't even need to have the lugs match perfectly to sound good. They don't oscillate in tone like a tom might.


Lot of good advice here. Something i didnt see mentioned is that the lugs on batter side of the drum will affect the pitch of the lugs on the reso side and vice versa. So if you cant get a lug in tune on the reso, reduce or increase the tension on its partner on the batter side.
I've never heard that before.
Can you post a video of this or show a link somewhere.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I don’t.
Clear a Tom and it gets warmer and fuller, but clear the snare and it sounds just about the same as it did with the lugs not perfect. The difference in the top and bottom head tension makes it much less likely to oscillate or waver in tone and the bottom head is so thin, tuning it perfectly isn’t all that critical because the note is so short.
 

gconyers

Senior Member
Assuming that you have started tuning by finger-tightening your batter side counter-hoop and bringing each tuning bolt up by an equal amount of turns, you should be able to get each lug at the same pitch (more or less).

If you have 2 bolts that are directly across from each other that are higher in pitch, it may be that your counter-hoop or head is warped slightly. Have you tried placing the hoop on a flat surface such as a glass table top? Gently push down at each bolt hole, one at a time. If the hoop rocks (and you have it on a truly flat surface), have your hoop straightened. There are plenty of videos on youtube that will show you how to do it. Put your hoop on, start from scratch and try it again.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
Snare drums are probably the easiest drum to make sound good but it's probably also the most frustrating for beginners because it will never sound like a recording.
They don't even need to have the lugs match perfectly to sound good. They don't oscillate in tone like a tom might.




I've never heard that before.
Can you post a video of this or show a link somewhere.
I saw it in a keith sharrets video, he has many and im not sure which one. But it works. Try it.
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
but I’m trying to get all of the pitches the same for each tension rod to possibly find the sound I’m looking for.
In that case, invest in a Tunebot. It's a digital drum tuner and will show you the actual tension rod frequency in Hz at each lug.
 
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