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


Senior Member
The thing about a 10" tom is that because it's much smaller than your other toms, the tuning is different. Every little change has MUCH more of an impact then on other drums, so maybe it's that you're used to tuning other drums, and the 10 is just too tensioned?
Try it out, just another suggestion.



Senior Member

^^^ That would be a video of Dave Weckl demonstrating how he tunes his toms. The technique has worked GREAT with every head and drum I've ever used it on. If you have at least a SLIGHTLY developed ear for pitch (even just able to replicate a note by humming), you should be able to do this without a drum dial at all, but even if you can't tune to a note by ear, it should work with a drum dial.


Senior Member
Thanks. I watched that video but the audio/video is out of sync and it cuts off early. Not really too much of a help beyond what I have already seen.

UPDATE: I played around a bit more yesterday WITHOUT the Drum Dial, using the concepts and techniques I've learned in the videos. I'm feeling a bit more comfortable about the tuning process (not necessarily about the time it is taking me to do so mind you - with 6 pieces). However I am still not liking the sound. I think the next thing I need to read up on is the actual musical note or pitch of each drum. Right now, my snare is at the same pitch as my 10", and there is a growl when I hit the 12". The 14" is way off from a natural musical progression from the 10 to the 12 and I have not yet even tried to tune the 16" or the bass.

These drums really resonate! Beyond the initial strike, there is a resonate ringing that would sound very sweet if I can get them tuned right. I'll probably take my snare to class with me today, to not only get used to hitting it, but also to make sure it is tuned properly (if my instructor has time before/after class). I may also see what he would charge me to come to my house and help me tune these right. It would be a big help to have someone next to me, helping me hear what to listen for and doing the right things. This trial by error is fun, but not as fun as playing the drums will be.

I've read elsewhere that the Remo Ambassadors are a very good head and sound really good on this kit, so I don't want to be too quick to change them out just yet. Because I am not the original owner, I don't know if they were ever set right/tuned originally - so it will be nice to have someone else critique the set and the condition of these heads. I can't assume that because they have never been hit that they are not ruined, but I seriously doubt that it's the heads and not me.


Senior Member
Great News! I finally got all 6 of drums tuned *good enough*. I brought my snare to my lesson today and instead of a normal lesson, we took the snare apart and tuned it. My instructor's technique was very straight forward and it applies to all drums. It worked like a charm.. The snare sounded great by the end of my lesson, so I took the technique home and within a few hours, had all my other drums tuned. I still have some fine tuning to do (pitch may be a bit on the high-end), but they sound a hell of a lot better than they have and I am now finally happy to the point of being able to play them.
So to everyone - thanks again.


try this one....this is the eddie van halen approach...if it sounds good, it is good....

tuning drums is a mystery that has been around as long as drums have been....and to my experience, i just find that if you just tune them to where they are going to sound good to YOUR ear....chances are everyone else will think so also.....
it's all trial and error...just don't be hard on yourself, because there is no " right" or "wrong" way.....just find what works for you, and do it....
Hi, it seems that a lot of drummers are stuck on the tuning thing and the noise. Lot's of different opinions on how to resolve them..
I was the same, and I was specifically irritated by the snare drum buzzing (I found that a sheet of fabric softener works really well to fix that...just adjust the size to your liking, but I do not use anything now to stop the buzz, I just do not mind it now).
As you said all this fussing cuts into playing time.
I got frustrated and put on some hearing protection and stopped worrying about it.
Then you will discover that you can find your sound and you will tune your drum easily to what you like. Use your Vic Firth isolation headset and set up your music so others can hear it, it will be more enjoyable for them.
Start playing your drums and you will fall in love.


Senior Member
Zoot... between your instructor and all the great advice here, it looks like you got it covered. I'll just mention I changed my heads from Remo pinstripe (they remove some of the ring) and now use Evans hydraulic. The overtones have mostly disappeared and I couldn't be happier. This doesn't answer the tuning problem I know, but might help the drums to sound more clear and warm. I'm using an Ambassador on one snare and an Evans EC on the other. They both sound great. Resonator tight tight tight. Batter moderatly tight and the snares moderatly tight. What did your instructor exactly do to get the right pitch?