Snare tuning for s wing

Hello, I am trying to get my snare tuned for swing playing. It's kind of hard to put into words, so here's a good example:

His snare is so snappy and ringy. Our hardware is different (he's using a DW Classic 5.5x14; I have a Gretsch USA Custom 5.5x14. He's using an Aquarian Classic; I'm using an Aquarian Texture Coated Response 2). Not the same but similar. But I imagine my gear can be tuned to something similar ... I just don't know how.

Any tips? It seems like no matter how I tune my snare it's either too loose and muddy or too tight and choked. I really don't have a system, I just try to tune to ear since I lost my Drum Dial (finger tight, quarter turns checking for equal tone until I get something pleasing).


Silver Member
Get a 1 ply head, your 2 ply head definitely reduces overtones. Make sure that the reso head is a snare reso head as well, the thinner the more response.

Experiment with different intervals between the heads, tune the reso head to a certain pitch, then play the drum with the batter head tuned to different pitches. If it doesn't work, bring the reso head up a note and repeat the process with the batter head.

Good luck!


Platinum Member
To my ears that snare has both reso and batter tuned way up, cranked, with wires are very tight. I would also say its bordering on choked.
Thanks for the replies. I'm definitely hitting rim shots, and it sounds a little ringy to me when I'm playing (with ear protection!) ... but it's nowhere near the level of punchiness from most modern swing recordings. And when I record myself and play it back I can't hear any ring at all.

I originally had the default coated heads that Gretsch USA Customs come with, I think it's Remo. Then I went for the Response 2 b/c I read that it had thick coating, which I thought would be good for my brush work. But man, it's like playing a boat sail. So I think I'll grab an Aquarian Modern Vintage.


Silver Member
I think its a "normal" snare with single ply coated heads tuned fairly, not extremely high. It's close miked, which is where the thunk and ping are coming from. Second, the mixing favors the top head more than the bottom (so I don't hear a lot of snare) with very little overhead/ambient. Are you hearing the same, Audiotech?