Tuning Snare and Tom drums

Here's some tuning tips for drummers.

  • Brand new drumheads may continue to stretch after being tuned. You may need to keep adjusting the tension until it sets.Tune each skin individually.
  • Once you have tuned one head dampen its ability to create sound by resting it on a pillow or towel so you can hear the sound of the head you are working on clearer.
  • Check the sound of your head by tapping your stick around the inner circumference of the skin, looking for hit sounds that are out and adjust until the entire sound of your head is the same.
  • Exact tuning of a snare drum can vary with personal choice with many players keeping the snare side quite tight with the top a little looser. To get a fat tone loosen the tension on both skins a little. For a sharp attack tighten both heads.
  • Experiment when tuning your toms to get the 'sweet' sound, it's natural resonancy. Start with the bottom skin and when you've got a sound you like match the top one to that. Often tuning the bottom skin a touch higher produces a good overall sound.
  • Keep in mind that different locations have different acoustic properties. You may need to adjust the tension on your skins to get the sound you like when using your kit in different places.
 studio drum kit

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