Stupid Question: What is a turn?

JLoveDrums94

Senior Member
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=126287

I’m referring to the 4th response in my last forum from bobdadruma.

“If you are using a single ply snare batter you shouldn't have to go more than two turns from finger tight. A double ply head will be about one and a half turns from finger tight.”

Well, as stupid as it may sound, what is a turn?
Is it how far you can turn a key with your wrist, or is a turn really just a 360 degree turn of the key?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
In that context I would think he means a full 360 degree turn of the key.

So yes a full 2 x 360 degree turns on the tension rod would be pretty tight....but that always depends on the threads on your lug.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I've often wondered about this too.

I tend to adjust tuning in small increments, sometimes one number on a clock or less. I read things like - 'fine tune each lug by a quarter turn until they're even' while I fine tune in 1/12 turns. I often wonder if they mean a quarter of a wrist movement.

Sorry I can't answer the question, but I'm glad you asked. I'd like to know the answer too.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Well based on the reactions I would say this is a very good question. I myself have wondered, good on you for making a thread so we can get to bottom of this matter.

When I tune I tend to think of a 180 rotation of the key as a full turn. Although I think what people are referring to is a full 360 deg turn.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I always assumed it meant 360°. It is a funny unit of measure for tensioning a drum, though, because I don't think I've ever done one-- it's bad practice to detune/crank the hell out of one lug at a time. I almost always do quarter (90°) turns or less, never more than a half.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Whenever I tension a head, I do rods directly across each other at the same time keeping tension even across the heAd. So my turns can be quarters, halves, or full turns. I just make sure each rod gets the same amount.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
"Two turns from finger tight" . . . . . it does sound like he means two 360. Seems about right in that context, but of course, I think everyone here would reach those two turns in smaller increments.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
"Two turns from finger tight" . . . . . it does sound like he means two 360. Seems about right in that context, but of course, I think everyone here would reach those two turns in smaller increments.
Bingo. I was referring to reaching two full 360 degree turns in increments of about 1/4 turn or 90 degrees. That is about the max that a single ply batter can take on a standard snare drum. A drum with fine thread lugs like a dw would take more turns of course.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Not a stupid question at all! Working in a music store I had the chance to watch a number of drummers explaining how they tuned their drums. Almost without exception, they would say "one turn," then would actually turn the tuning key 180 degrees or less. As Red Menace pointed out, you can be almost certain that when a drummer says "one turn," he's really means "1/2 turn."

GeeDeeEmm
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
To me a turn is 180 degrees, a half turn is 90 degrees and so on. It's a semantics argument really but it's never caused me any problems, I don't think I've ever had to discuss it with another drummer.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Having never really thought about it, I've always thought of one turn as a full 360 degrees. I would think if you were to ride a rollercoaster a few times at a theme park, each time you ride it would be a turn. Right?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
On a tuning peg (on a lute instrument), a turn is 360 degrees. I would expect it is the same for a tension rod.
 

Dodeska

Senior Member
I always presumed that a turn was a full 360°. When tuning I go up in what I call quarters or eighths, which would be 90° & 45° respectively. I'm sure that's what I've heard them say on the multitude of tuning videos on YT.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
One turn, 360 degrees. Half turn 180.
Tomorrow we'll discuss the 1/4 and 1/8 turns. J/k
Other terms,whole turn, half turn, quarter turn, but to me a turn is 360
 

opentune

Platinum Member
other, other terms:
I'm having a turn. He turned on me. Turn it up. It's my turn. Tighten your rod a quarter turn.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
Wow. 2 full 360° turns on each rod past finger tight is REALLY tight. Like Stewart Copeland tight. I never tension my snare batter that tight. For a low tuning I would say I usually go a little more than a half turn past finger tight on each lug, depending on the drum. For a medium tuning I would go about a half turn up from there and a high tuning would be up another half turn or less up from there. I would say for me, a high tuning would usually be about a turn and a quarter up from finger tight. That's getting pretty high.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
other, other terms:
I'm having a turn. He turned on me. Turn it up. It's my turn. Tighten your rod a quarter turn.
Let us not forget..

When Pip bolted his food, Mrs Jo gave him tar water for relief, and he took a mighty turn soon afterward. (it was toward the beginning of Great Expectations)
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Maybe some people mean "a turn of the wrist" to describe one twist of the drum key. Ultimately, its not life changing, but it's good to be aware that when someone says they tightened by three turns, they might actually mean three half turns, so we shouldn't take it too literally.
 
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