on Drum Tuning
Do you struggle with how to tune your drums?
Well here are some tried and
tuning tips and techniques for getting the best sound out of your drums.
- Tune from one side
of the drum to the other, similar to the way you would take the lugs off when
changing a flat tire.
you have lugs that are backing out when you play due to vibration, you can use
"lug locks" to keep them in place.
you're tuning the bottom reso head on your snare drum head, put a stick underneath
the snares (to sit on the rim of either side of the drum). This way you don't
have to remove the snares to tune the bottom head.
you're taking your drums out of their cases at the venue, check to see that no
lugs vibrated out. Also, check this at the end of the gig when you're putting
the drums back in the cases. The vibrations of the band sometimes cause the lugs
to back out. You may occasionally find one lying on the floor underneath your
that affect drum sound are:
- the acoustics of the room
- the type of
- how hard you hit the drums
- the quality of the drums
- how well they are tuned
- what types of heads you use
- what type of
muffling you're using
- what type of finish on the drum (laminate or stain)
- the venting of the drum. Size and placement
- suspension mounting
how round (or not) your rims are
to find that "sweet" spot on the drum you're tuning. Every drum seems
to have a certain place where it sounds the best consistently.
Share your studio tips, drum secrets, drum tricks, or
drum lessons with us!
If you play drums in the studio and have a special
tip, we welcome your submission.
Tuning Books, CDs, and DVDs
Pick up more Drum Tuning Tips at DrumChat.com
the date in the upper corner (well ok, there's no corner on a round head, but
you know what I mean) of the drum. This will help you know how long since you've
last changed the head on that drum.
you want a more natural tone from your toms, consider mounting them with suspension
mounts. This will allow the drums to sound out and ring more freely with a more
Did you know that professional drumsets have more lugs on the
drums than cheaper, beginner drumsets? This is a major consideration to getting
a more refined drum sound. The more lugs on the drums, the better.
tune your drums fast, use a speed key of some sort. You can use a rachet type
or buy a drum tuning bit that goes into the end of your drill or cordless screwdriver.
- For Drummers
with complex setups: They don't make memory locks for everything, so you have
to get creative. I have my drum rug marked off with duct tape, so that I know
EXACTLY where to place everything. I also have my cymbal arm tilters marked straight
across with a black Sharpie. When the two marks line up, you know you're set.
This has saved me HOURS of setup time at shows, as well as in the studio (plus,
your band can't give the excuse "I don't know where it goes" anymore!).
The lengths I have gone to to simplify setup is legendary, but, with a little
extra effort, it can really help you. - Jim ".50 cal" Deabenderfer
patient. I can't stress this enough. It takes time to dial in everyone's sound
and individual parts. Find a book you can read or something else you can work
on when you're waiting on the other musicians.
are lots of drum
tuning devices on the market (Drum Dial, Tension Watch, Robo Key, etc.) but
remember that most important drum tuning device is your own ears.
Drum Tuning DVDs at DrummerDVDS.com
tape, napkins, and zero rings all help to muffle drums but be sure not to overuse
them. Some drummers put so much muffling on their drums that they choke the natural
resonance of the drum. Let your drums sing! That's what they're designed to do.
- Many drummers
don't realize that there are different drum tuning methods for different styles
of music. For example, a jazz drumset sound will usually be more open and resonant
while a funk drumming sound will usually be a bit more muffled down. When you're
listening to the different styles of music, pay close attention to how the drums
sound within those styles. You'll start seeing a pattern.
- zero rings
- duct tape
- drum gum
- moon gel
about Drum Tuning
Find more on drum
tuning at Drum Bum's drum lessons hub.
tuned for even more drum tuning tips. Learn all about the best
tuning drums and getting that perfect pro-drummer sound.
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