storing snares, detune all heads/moisture pack?

Drum Guy

Member
got about a dozen snares - if I won't be playing them for a few weeks or so, I tend to loosen totally all heads, keep em in snare bags and put away...just wondered if I even need to detune/loosen at all, or just keep heads on there at tension they were?

Does loosening for a while, then tightening, then loosening later on actually do more head stretch damage then just leaving all tuned/tightened when stored?

And does throwing in a small gel moisture absorber in the bag while storing wood snares help or dry out the wood/heads destructively, or any detriment to metal snares/hardware using gel packs over a few months?

not sure ...obviously :unsure:
 
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johnwesley

Silver Member
I don't recommend loosening heads if stored for just a few weeks or even a couple months. First it does cause unnecessary "back and forth" tension on the heads. It also puts wear on T-rods and lug threads. Long term is a good idea. DO NOT put moisture absorbers in the case unless you're in an extremely wet or humid climate. That can remove moisture from the wood over a long period that may cause warpage and/or splitting. Personally I'm down to just 5 extra snares which I keep on a shelf in my studio. Every time I practice I use a different drum to keep them happy.
 

Drum Guy

Member
thanks John good advice, I'll do what you suggest..and I too am hoping to cut down my snares to under 10

that's amazing Steady Freddy - 6 decades!?
 

Drum Guy

Member
man i’m glad i asked these questions as i have 3 solid wood shells and other pricey guys. tomorrow i’m gonna tune up all my snares

thanks so much folks!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Absolutely keep the heads tensioned. That's how they'd be if you were playing them. There's no need to deviate from that standard for storage purposes. Moisture bags are unnecessary. Just place the shells in a comfortable setting, and all will be well.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I don't recommend loosening heads if stored for just a few weeks or even a couple months. First it does cause unnecessary "back and forth" tension on the heads. It also puts wear on T-rods and lug threads. Long term is a good idea. DO NOT put moisture absorbers in the case unless you're in an extremely wet or humid climate. That can remove moisture from the wood over a long period that may cause warpage and/or splitting. Personally I'm down to just 5 extra snares which I keep on a shelf in my studio. Every time I practice I use a different drum to keep them happy.
I'm just a noob/wannabe - but I'm amazed that anyone would build an expensive and critical piece of woodwork like a drum and not totally seal it from the atmosphere afterwards.
Humidity and temperature vary wildly in different markets - why make the woodwork wildly unstable sonically and prone to splitting, swelling, shrinking and distortion? Sounds downright negligent to me.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I'm just a noob/wannabe - but I'm amazed that anyone would build an expensive and critical piece of woodwork like a drum and not totally seal it from the atmosphere afterwards.
Humidity and temperature vary wildly in different markets - why make the woodwork wildly unstable sonically and prone to splitting, swelling, shrinking and distortion? Sounds downright negligent to me.
And yet spraying & sealing the inside of the shell drastically affects its tone. See Gretsch & Tama.
 

Skeet6

Member
As Steady Freddy above, I have had some drums since the 80's (1960's and 1970's drums) kept under tension their whole lives - no ill effects whatsoever. They are designed to be under tension, not left floppy. Keep them that way.
I would also think the head would hate being loosened and tensioned over and over as well. I know removing a head and re-installing it sometimes makes it sound a little "off" from where it was before being removed.

Mike B
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
A couple comments...

When people say to keep it under tension, this means normal tension. If you use ridiculous amounts of tension on either head, back it off slightly.

On single lug snares, having relatively-even tension is often important. You don't want super high tension on one side and low tension on another.

Regarding moisture packs. Good for steel (slows oxidization), but can dry out the wood if you live in a non-tropical environment. If you live in Hawaii or other region with >90% humidity, you can use a bead/gel pack. Wood likes 50% humidity, not 100, not 0.

Last note.. Tension is beneficial to the structural integrity of the drum. When you ship a drum, there should be some tension on the heads.
 

Drum Guy

Member
kamak that is excellent info both re: the wood drums and as I do have a pearl FF steel 3.5x14 that I wondered if I should drop in a small desiccant pack in the snare bag - everyone thank you for great counsel re: this ...you spend SO much $ on these snares you need to know how best to care for them...long term and short
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Today I pulled out a snare that I haven't played for a year or so and both heads dropped 60 Hz since I cased it. So the heads relax some over time.
 
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