SNARE TUNING

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I thought this was the step most people have done away with as new heads don't need this attempt at cracking? I haven't done that with any new head in over ten years and my drums to include the snare sound fine.
 

Elvis

Silver Member
I still do it and my drums sound fine, too.
Nothing's changed in how drums and heads are built, only in how The Marketeers coerce you into buying more of their goods.


Elvis
 

eric_B

Senior Member
Here's my step-by-step tutorial on how to change out and tune up a drum head.
It's kinda long, so get comfy...
Just 27 steps! Times 3 toms, 1 bass drum and 1 snare! Tuning drums is fast and easy! Silly (bass) guitar players cheating with their tuners, this is the real stuff! ;-)

Just kidding, good information. Tuning drums is kind of an art which requires patience and practice. The more you do it, the faster it will go.

7) Tighten the head down in 2 steps, or "patterns".
The first one will be:
12,6,2,8,4,10.
The second one will be:
6,12,4,10,2,8.
Maybe I missed a step but I would say the uneven rods would have to be tightened as well?

8 ) At this point, the head is evenly tensioned and fairly taught.
You may have heard some cracking or "popping" at this point, and that's fine.
Place the drum on the floor with the head you're working on looking up.
Now, place the heel of one of your hands in the center of the head and give one very hard, sharp, quick push.
DON'T BE A WIMP HERE! PUT YOUR WEIGHT INTO IT!
You may have heard more cracking at this point or you may not hear more cracking at this point.
Either is fine.
In my (humble) experience, stretching a new head is good practice because it prevents it from detuning caused by stretching due to just playing it. I have heads come down more than a note after a drum session. A drum teacher told me you could also tune the head a fair bit tighter than you want and leave it overnight to stretch. The punching works faster though.
Wasn't it Martin Ranscombe who made a DVD on drum tuning and even does a dance on a bass drum head?
 

Elvis

Silver Member
The famous video of the guy jumping on the bass drum head is by Simon Phillips.

...and LOL! Uneven rods. I never thought about it being taken that way. Pretty funny! =D


Elvis
 

eric_B

Senior Member
...and LOL! Uneven rods. I never thought about it being taken that way. Pretty funny! =D
It came naturally. Must be my former Dutch math education :)

One thing more to consider (step 28 I guess): tuning to notes.
If you tune drums (toms in particular) to chord notes - like C-E-G or D-F#-A or Eb-Bb-Eb or whatever, depending on the drum sizes - they will sound more cohesive.
You will probably need something like a keyboard or an app to generate the notes (and a good ear) or a tune-bot for reference though.
 

Elvis

Silver Member
I purposely left that out because the tutorial is supposed to be a general, basic guide to changing out and tuning a drum head.
It actually started off as a request from a drummer friend in Australia.
Tuning to notes, head combos, tension differences, these are all specifics and are outside the purpose of the tutorial.
...of course, if you want to write a paper on those specifics, please, be my guest!
I'm sure it will be an interesting read! =)



Elvis
 

DrumPhil

Junior Member
It came naturally. Must be my former Dutch math education :)

One thing more to consider (step 28 I guess): tuning to notes.
If you tune drums (toms in particular) to chord notes - like C-E-G or D-F#-A or Eb-Bb-Eb or whatever, depending on the drum sizes - they will sound more cohesive.
You will probably need something like a keyboard or an app to generate the notes (and a good ear) or a tune-bot for reference though.
If you occasionally play timpani, you might have a tuning pitch pipe in your kit bag. That would work for tuning toms to pitches.

Another benefit of this is that you can throw cool chordal riffs into your fills and solos. Never overlook the opportunity to make the drums more musical!
 

Bluekit

Member
YES! FINALLY! The thing most of us old-timers have been preaching since day ONE, but all the kids seem to be interested in are "gadgets".
The only "gadget" you need is a drum key (or a suitably sized square drive socket wrench, accompanied by suitably sized square drive socket).
I’d say ringing was reduced by 70-80%,,,,
 
Top