What is your main snare you gig with, and your back up snare?


Gold Member
What do you guys use as your main snare, but just as important, what back up snare do you bring?

Any reasons for either would be great.


"Uncle Larry"
I use a Pearl Eric Singer Signature (now discontinued) 1 inch thick maple snare as my main snare. I never had to use my backup snare, never. I carry a 14 x 5 mapex birch snare, and it has a severe inferiority complex.


Gold Member
I usually just take one snare to a gig, a Pearl hammered brass Tony DeGrasso. However, after reading all the posts lately about having a spare, I decided to take a second to a gig I am playing at the Norman Music Festival in a couple of hours. My back up will be a 1970"s Zickos clear shell. Both drums are quite bright and that is what this gig calls for.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
On tour I play a 6.5" Black Beauty and my b/u is a 6.5" Supra (both 2006.) I didn't want to 'waste' a BB by having it sit as a spare, and in the single emergency I've had, the Supra was just fine until the BB was back in action (only needed to replace snare wire cord.)

In town, I use various snares, mostly Ludwig and mostly 6.5" metal shells. I don't bring a backup, but I do keep a spare set of snare & tom batters. I used to carry extra cord, felts, and other supplies, but never got around to needing any of them. Maybe I've just been lucky, but in 40+ years of local gigging, I've never had a snare (or pedal or much else) fail. Can't recall ever breaking a head on the job, but that seems more likely than anything else, so at least I'm prepared for that!



Pioneer Member
Main snare: Pork Pie 14x6.5 Big Black - black chrome over brass with tube lugs. I swapped out the triple flange hoops for die cast. Sounds great and very versatile.

My back up is an OCDP 13x7 maple with die cast hoops. Great inexpensive snare.

Actually both of them are!


Platinum Member
I now have two main snares that I switch between: a 5x14 Pearl Sensitone Brass and a 5x14 Ludwig Standard aluminum (think Acrolite with no bead). I like the brass snare for live performance -- it has a lively punch with a bit of overtones behind it. The aluminum snare seems more suited for recording and miking indoors, it's more controlled. But I think one would easily sub for the other. So if I were to be gigging again in the near future, I'd take them both along. I also have a 5x12 maple soprano that I use on the side, and in a pinch I could switch to that drum in the middle of a song, then tune it down slightly to finish the set. I actually love using it as a main snare, it's very easy to use double bass with a smaller snare between my knees.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I just have two main snares. A 1980s 6.5x14 Ludwig Supraphonic, and a 1970s 6.5x14 Slingerland COB Buddy Rich TDR. Depending on my mood, I decide which one gets used first ;)


Gold Member
My favorite and gigging snare is a Gretsch American Classic Hand Hammered 5X14.

My practice snare on my practice set is a Tama Birch Artwood 6.5X14


Senior Member
I own three snares and each can be my main snare depending on the gig/venue.

My go-to snare is Pearl Ian Paice Sig 14x6.5 steel, which is supposedly based on Supra. I tune it medium low for a fat classic rock tone and feel. It sounds and feels so right!!!

If l want to go for a more woody tone and a healthy crack with medium high tuning, I take my Taye StudioMaple 14x5 to the gig.

My Yamaha Musashi 12x6 oak snare is sometimes used as a backup, sometimes side snare and it serves as the main snare on small gigs. Like Alparrott, I just tune it down a bit if I am going to use it as my main snare.


Gold Member
My go to snare is a 14x 5.5 Mapex Steel shell black panther. If I carry a spare it's either my Mapex Saturn maple walnut, same size as the BP or my Pearl brass 14x6.5, which I prefer for the studio as it really barks, although to be fair I haven't had either of the others in the studio yet.


Platinum Member
I have 4 main snares that I gig with.
Gretsch COB 5.5x14 10 lug 1975 vintage
Mapex Black Panther maple 5.5x13
Mapex Saturn maple/walnut 5.5x14 10 lug
Ludwig Club Date SE cherry/gum wood with reinforcement rings 5x14 8 lug

My primary back up spare snare is my Sonor Safari 5x14 with upgraded 2.3mm triple flanged hoops 8 lug.
I also use my Sonor Special Edition Maple 5.5x14 10 lug as a back up and practice snare 10 lug.


Platinum Member
I don't know about mains and backups, but I always carry an extra snare with me. I always have my 6.5x14 Black Beauty and my 6.5x14 Supra. Either a coin toss or which ever one I'm feeling more that day determines which goes on the stand first with the other becoming the backup. I love 'em both.


Gold Member
So far the overwhelming majority of people here use metal snares as their main snare.
My newly acquired DW Edge is both with the maple center :) and could be the main snare (6 x 14).

I pondered this question since my snares include the DW Edge, Tama Stewart Copeland (5x14 COB), Tama Artwood (6 1/2 x 13) and soon - Tama Birch Bubinga Starclassic.

They all have a unique tone, which was my first objective. But I don't think either of them could substitute for the other in tone. I was going to use the 6 1/2 x 13 Artwood as a spare because it was easier to lug around, but your answers are making me think more on tone instead of portability. Maybe I could pair up the wood snares and keep the Edge and Copeland together?

Lots of Ludwigs in these lists.


It all depends on the band and genre of music. Sometimes it's my 14" x 5 1/2" Tama Starclassic Bubinga. Then maybe my 14" x 5 1/2" DW Classic (mahogany/poplar/mahogany). Or my Ludwig 14" x 5" Classic Maple or my 14" x 5 1/2" Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute. I never leave home without a back-up, usually one of my metal snares such as my 14" x 5" Ludwig Acrolite.



Platinum Member
So far the overwhelming majority of people here use metal snares as their main snare.
Yeah, I noticed that too.

I use both. A 14x5 Ludwig Classic Maple or a 14x5 Supra. I usually use the Supra as the back up but I think like the tone of it better now that I really think about it. A lot of my gigs are low-medium volume though.