Tensioning and untensioning impact on drumheads


Active member
Hi everyone,

I did a little research on the Internet then I couldn’t find any good discussions on this topic.

I am trying to figure out to what extent drumheads are affected by tensioning them and un tensioning them

E.g., taking a snare drum, really cranking it, bringing it back low, cranking again, back to low etc.

How does that affect the overall drumhead ability to operate? Is there any “stretching” of the film that affects the head’s performance?

I’m not talking about cranking it and playing it for weeks and expecting it to be fresh... but mostly around finding the right spot when tuning and doing this up/down of tensioning several times on a new head

Any thoughts from experience!??


Gold Member
I don't think it makes much difference during test tunings on a new head, as long as you don't leave it cranked high for over a day or so. Being plastic, the head tries to seat or conform itself to the shell and hoop. That takes a while with Mylar. In my experience, though, once a head has been at a high tension for quite some time, it never again sounds good at a lower tension.