The Cigarette Trick

The Scorpio

Senior Member
I bought the Jeff Ocheltree Trust Your Ears DVD a few years back, and during his discussion with Steve Smith, Ocheltree talked about his Cigarette trick. This is for removing dents from drumheads. Basically you take a lit cigarette and melt the dent in a drumhead. I do it gently and never hold it over the dent for too long to avoid damaging the head. I've been using this trick for years and it works great. Just finished getting out a small dent from a clear emperor and once again, I was pleased with the results! I thought you guys might find it interesting and useful.

Also a little windex usually takes care of any discoloration cause by cigarette.

(EDIT: DO NOT USE WINDEX ON A COATED HEAD!!! Windex will remove the coating. Thanks Gruntersdad!!)

Play well and play hard!

Kyle
 
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Swexx

Senior Member
Seems like a pretty interesting idea. Is there any way to do this using something other than a cigarette? I don't smoke, I don't want to start smoking and I don't want to buy cigarettes just to fix drum heads. Could something like a lit matchstick work?

EDIT: I googled it and found out that Jim Keltner used to hold his drum heads over a lit candle to make the dents disappear. I'll try it someday.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I bought the Jeff Ocheltree Trust Your Ears DVD a few years back, and during his discussion with Steve Smith, Ocheltree talked about his Cigarette trick. This is for removing dents from drumheads. Basically you take a lit cigarette and melt the dent in a drumhead. I do it gently and never hold it over the dent for too long to avoid damaging the head. I've been using this trick for years and it works great. Just finished getting out a small dent from a clear emperor and once again, I was pleased with the results! I thought you guys might find it interesting and useful.

Also a little windex usually takes care of any discoloration cause by cigarette.

Play well and play hard!

Kyle

Do Not use Windex on any coated head. If you guys remember, I sprayed Windex on a 16 inch coated Evans and with one wipe after about 2 seconds, it took the coating right off. You can check my Youtube channel for the video.
 

Swexx

Senior Member
Do Not use Windex on any coated head. If you guys remember, I sprayed Windex on a 16 inch coated Evans and with one wipe after about 2 seconds, it took the coating right off. You can check my Youtube channel for the video.

I'd love to see that, haha. Can you link the video? Can't find your Youtube channel.
 

Zickos

Gold Member
So, I guess if used it with those tobacco-less cigarettes, to be more politically correct, it would take care of the fake dents, right?
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I or no one around me smokes and I haven't dented a head in many years, so I guess I'm OK with just replacing the heads when needed. ;) If this system works to entice a few extra weeks or months from your head, then all well and good.

Dennis
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I googled it and found out that Jim Keltner used to hold his drum heads over a lit candle to make the dents disappear.

The keywords here being- 'used to'. Mylar has memory.

This is a good trick if your selling/taking pics of a kit, but the reality is, as soon as the treated area is struck again the dent comes back just like the original.

It works, but it doesn't work. A lighter, any flame, a heat gun etc. low heat is better.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Play well and play hard!

Indeed Kyle, my dear friend ... but to dent a head? ... there's hard and hard ya know, lol.

I only dented heads when I took up drumming on my first ever kit with stock heads all those years ago, I never dented a head since, and trust me, I do hit hard, how on earth do you dent a head?

Nice trick with the cigarette though, I've never heard of it though until you mentioned it, this forum is great :)

Still in love with that 28" bass drum? ...if not, then... well you know what I mean, do you Kyle :))
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
I've heard that a hot hair dryer can do something like this. However. I'm with con struct. Change the head.

I change heads for less obvious reasons than a dent. Those reasons would be sound and on snare batters, coating wear.

I want the best sound I can get and a head that has dents has most likely lost tonal qualities I want. I also don't want to have less brush sound when playing horizontally on a worn snare batter.

Jim
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
This thread reminded me of a drummer I met years ago who had cigarette holes burned in his floor tom head. He used to wedge his burning cig in between the hoop and head to hold it, with the cherry up, but sometimes hitting the floor tom caused it to pop out and lay on the head, burning a hole.

Anyway, I asked him why he didn't change the head, and he said he liked the sound better with a few holes in it.

At the time, I figured he was full of crap, but these days Evans has a wide variety of vented heads, so maybe he was ahead of his time, lol.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I just took up smoking so I could take advantage of this and I can confirm it works great.

Hmm. I find that I want to keep smoking these things all the time now. I hope it's not habit-forming.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
I just took up smoking so I could take advantage of this and I can confirm it works great.

Hmm. I find that I want to keep smoking these things all the time now. I hope it's not habit-forming.

Ha! I was going to make a joke, but I can't follow this. This is gold!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Someday I want to be a master smoker. I practice smoking to a metronome. I really dig the way it colors my teeth, and I can't get enough of that smell on my clothes. I especially like how it makes my fingers smell, yea. I like sticking my spent butt in the yolks of my eggs in the morning, I love the way that looks. Yea, inhaling hundreds of nasty chemicals totally rocks.
 

slowrocker

Silver Member
Someday I want to be a master smoker. I practice smoking to a metronome. I really dig the way it colors my teeth, and I can't get enough of that smell on my clothes. I especially like how it makes my fingers smell, yea. I like sticking my spent butt in the yolks of my eggs in the morning, I love the way that looks. Yea, inhaling hundreds of nasty chemicals totally rocks.

I take it you do not like smoking...

That is ok I don't either. I mostly just hate smelling cigarettes. I won't condemn someone else though if they like them and don't mind their lungs getting jacked. Their business, not mine
 

The Scorpio

Senior Member
Indeed Kyle, my dear friend ... but to dent a head? ... there's hard and hard ya know, lol.

I only dented heads when I took up drumming on my first ever kit with stock heads all those years ago, I never dented a head since, and trust me, I do hit hard, how on earth do you dent a head?

Nice trick with the cigarette though, I've never heard of it though until you mentioned it, this forum is great :)

Still in love with that 28" bass drum? ...if not, then... well you know what I mean, do you Kyle :))

Haha it happens to me occasionally. Nothing serious, but every now and again if I hit off center I will get a tiny dent. I guess it has something to do with the off angle impact? I'm not sure but if I dent a head, thats where it always is. I haven't dented one dead center in a long time (sans the kick)

Speaking of my 28", I used this trick on it about two months ago. I put on a new Emp and forgot to buy a bass drum patch, so I dented it. I dent kick heads all the time lol. I got the dent out, put a patch on and viola, I was back in business. But I busted the outer layer of that one over the weekend, and I sure it was a combo of me kicking it hard and having used that trick, which does weaken the head.

The dent in my rack tom came from transporting it from the show. I had the truck loaded down and I think a mic stand fell on it. It dented right next to the "o" in Remo. I hit it with my fingers to see if it was still making good overtones and they were too muffled for a Emp. So I cooked the dent out and my overtones were back :)

I think it's time for you to go buy a 28" marching kick. You know you want one. It sounds amazing. If you run into problems I will totally help out!!!
 
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