What the *F* am I doing wrong? Your feedback is appreciated.


Pioneer Member
I may have to break out the practice pad or go back to the e-kit to work my chops in the meantime so I don't continue to frustrate myself that I am not practicing.
NO! Don't go back to the Ekit to work on chops. By the sounds of it, there's nothing wrong with the kit or, probably, your tuning. You're simply shocked at the sound and feel of it. Remember that, especially in confined spaces, the sound of acoustic drums are not easily tamed (and nor are they supposed to be) - ringing and snare buzz are all part of the sound of a drum kit. The only way to get used to it is to stick to playing on the real kit. You may need to cut your work regime down. Start out with just one groove and one fill and spend a lot of time on them. Start very very slowly so you can feel and see the stick response on every stroke of the groove/fill. Your aim now is to readjust mind and body. Trying to pick up where you left off from the Ekit is unlikely to work.
As long as you stick only to playing your acoustic kit, sooner rather than later you'll gain the sense of familiarity that you currently have with the Ekit.


Gold Member
Make a video of you playing the kit, and then we can assess it, like a teacher grading a test. Except tests are harder. Much harder. Especially Spanish 2 tests. Like the one I just took. In first period. I failed it.


Senior Member
I had exactly th esame issue when moving from my acoustic with sound dampeners on to playing for the first time in a rehearsal studio in my first band.

Firstly it felt completely different and highlighted all my errors. You have to learn again, but the outcome is that for the first time I was REALLY drumming with dynamics and control in a way that you don't with edrums or silenced drums.

Secondly tuning - the main thing I would add to the DTB is that when talking about 'overall' pitches of the toms this is the note of the reso not the batter. I don't know if this is always the case but this definitely was the way the DTB worked best for me in terms of tuning the toms to each other. (And as a starting point it definitely worked for me tuning the reso a third higher than the batter - the first two notes of here comes the bride) (EDIT - that should say perfect fourth, thanks Wavelength)

I play a four piece so tuned my two toms to the first two notes of Star Wars ( a fifth). With three toms I can't remember exacly what is best but I think its in the DTB.

Good luck - don't look at this as going backwards - your learning has just really speeded up!
Last edited:


Ive expiremented with tuning so I'll give you my tips. I myself use the drum dial because its faster not because I cant tune it by ear and the drum dial gives me pretty good overall sound to the drum and I like the whole idea tension wise, as far as buzzing goes and all this stuff. I like my snare tight (13x6.5 steve jordan snare) I've noticed by tuning my snare batter tighter than my 8,10" toms usually stops all buzzing of the snare when hitting the tom, and as far as snare buzz goes try tuning the resonant head tighter or just as tight as the batter and that should help with buzzing a bit, and of course theres always the "hit the snare in the middle" I cant say all these will work 100% but they helped me out, try it out...tuning is all taste.


Silver Member
Just a word of encouragement.

Keep at it. It's taken you 2 1/2 hours with no results, but I took 6 weeks to get a proper sound out of my tunings. Tuning is one of those things you get more adjusted to in time.

Just remember, what you hear sitting behind the kit and what someone hears sitting 20feet away are two completely different things.


Gold Member
yup, i like you started on ,well, actually acoustics, but then i had to move into a condo so V-Drums were the only way to go,
and i wasnt able to practice/own on another acoustic for a solid 6-7 years so quit your whining!!!! jk (about the whining part) i
feel your pain... but dont give up, i've owned my accoustic drums for 10 months and i still cant get the tuning quite to my
liking...oh well, im not all that upset, i love drumming too much!



Senior Member
First things first...put the Drum Dial away. You need to learn tuning by feel and sound, not numbers. Once you get better at it, you can experimwnt with it again.

You have been getting a lot of advice on tuning so I'll leave that alone.

As far as the snare buzzing goes, here's a good tip:
Tighten the bottom head of your snare a little more than you have now. Then detune the four lugs that are adjacent to the snare wires. This will help eliminate some of the buzz.


Senior Member
Thanks everyone - I put the computer away early yesterday, so I'm just getting all the recent feedback now.
Last night I went home and I was even more self-conscience about the volume of my drums (and of course the un-tuned sound), so I pulled out my practice pad and worked on each of my rudiments for about 5 minutes and played a few pages of "Stick Control" with my metronome. It was nice to work the chops again, but the entire time, I was starring at my new kit, wishing that I was more comfortable playing it.
Good news - it felt good to "practice", even if it was on a practice pad and not the same feel as my acoustic kit; bad news - I don't know what my problem is, but I'm really self-conscience about how loud my kit is for my townhouse.
After that, I pulled both heads off my 12" tom and started from scratch using DTB, but I don't know what "sound" or "pitch" I am supposed to be listening for. I finally gave up and went back to the Drum Dial - tuned both the 10 & 12 batters to 80 and the resonant to 72. Still sounds like $#!t. The 10 is still ringing (high pitched echo).

If I still continue to struggle with this, I'll take the 10" to my instructor on Thursday and see what he can show me.

As for sound dampening, I'm working on covering the walls and ceilings with acoustic blankets to hopefully lessen the harsh echos and make me feel better about playing the acoustic kit.


Silver Member
I can only imagine how you feel about the volume of your acoustic kit in your town house.
If you constantly have to sit there and think, oh my god, I'm too loud, that can't be good.
You have to be able to let loose, and take your mind off that.
I would never be able to play in my house, with knowing that everybody is being bothered by me playing drums.Before I bought my drumset I built a little room in my garage, it is not big, but overall it is bearable for everybody in the house , and I do not have to be thinking about if I annoy anybody.
I am very sorry, and I feel for you, because right now you sound very frustrated, I hope it gets better, but I can tell you right now, you will never be able to soundproof you room completely, so I hope you have an understanding family and neighbors.


Senior Member
My family is very supportive - no question (although my girl would have rathered an engagement ring instead of a drum kit). And my neighbors - well, I've lived there 10 years and haven't bothered to get to know any of them - so honestly, I could care less about them either. They piss me off by letting their kids run through my yard, their dogs crap near my front steps and park in my parking space, even when many of them have garages (which I do not). I'll say 'hi" to my next-door neighbor but that's about it.
So why am I so self-conscience about this? I think it's mostly because my kit doesnt sound good to me and this is more my problem than theirs. If I can get the drums tuned, I may not have so much of a problem playing - right now, I feel like this was a bad purchase.


Senior Member
I was just reading back through my posts - wow, what a range of emotions!
When I decided to get an acoustic kit, I researched and researched - looking for the best bang for my buck. I didnt think that it would be too loud because I've had raging parties and have been beating on my e-kit for a while, so it didnt even cross my mind.
Then I found a brand-new, pro-level kit for half it's market price and I was on cloud-9. I was so excited and happy - I felt really good -- until I set it up and experienced the reality of my actions. It was a lot of money (more than I should have spent) and I am frustrated with the sound.
I'm sure in a few weeks, I will resolve my acoustic problems, tuning problems and will put more time into practicing on the "live" kit and get more comfortable about it.
Right now I'm frustrated and perhaps a twinge of guilt for jumping into more than I can potentially chew right now.
Sorry for the rant - just feel like if anywhere, this is the place to share my feeling in hopes that others have experienced the same emotions/problems that I am and can offer some solid advice.


Silver Member
Maybe this helps here is a link to a video of Marvin "Smitty" Smith playing a properly tuned
This was recorded with a cellphone.
This is how drums sound if you have not mic'ed them and run through a mixer.
Now you take the same set put into a studio and run it through all the "technical stuff" it will sound like your Roland.


Senior Member
I'm a learn by doing kinda guy and it's awfully hard without having someone show me the right way first. The internet is a great resource and the clips and posts are awesome. I've seen the Bob Gatzen clips before. I'll have to keep trying I guess. Trial by Error.


Gold Member
I'm a learn by doing kinda guy and it's awfully hard without having someone show me the right way first. The internet is a great resource and the clips and posts are awesome. I've seen the Bob Gatzen clips before. I'll have to keep trying I guess. Trial by Error.
Hey Zoot,

Hang in there buddy, it truly is a trial by error, as I said I am not that far ahead of you in this acoustic experience and I finally got my kit to sound the way I want it, at least I feel a bit better when I play away that it does not quite sound as hideous as it had...but maybe I am changing?...LOL It will get better, as for the townhome thing, that is one you just cannot change for that I am thankful for a big house! Hang in there!


Senior Member
Yeah - really wouldnt mind it quite so much if I had more space. If I was in a garage or studio or a large basement - I wouldnt care nearly as much. But because I am "projecting large sound" in a small space, I'm more sensitive to the quality.


If a problem is your snare drum making other drums buzz you can try and fix it...

You modify the length of the snare line by unscrewing it and adjusting it so it becomes slightly less tight. Also experiment with screwing the snare tightener looser. Good luck.


Senior Member
Honestly, I believe the problem is mostly due to poor tuning, coupled with poor acoustics, combined with my "beginner" skills. The tuning, I can work on (I am starting to think that the heads were not seated properly to begin with and therefore may never be tuned to my liking); the acoustics - I am trying to insulate and diffuse as much ambient noise as possible, and my skills, well that takes practice which I am losing out on since I cant get the kit to sound right to me.

I was able to resolve the buzz of the snare when I hit the bass, by tightening up the bottom head of the snare. It still slightly buzzes when I hit the rack toms, but from what I understand - that is to be expected, I can deal with that. The problem I am having now is an extended "ringing" sound when hitting the 10" and again, I think this is just a tuning problem that i am working through.

I am reading everything and anything I can on tuning right now to help.