Category Archives: My Tuning Advice

Drum Tuning +

In this article I would like to talk to you about different types of equipment you can get to aid drum tuning. Talk a little about External Dampeners and share a few little tips Ive picked up along the way.

Drum Keys.

Ill start with the topic of Drum Keys. There are lots of different types out there to help AID drum tuning. There are NONE out there that will do the job for you. You will always have to put in the hard work and time to actually learn how to tune your drums properly. That been said they can and will help speed up the process. The main 2 types im going to look at here are the “Drill Bit Drum Key” and the “Evans Torque Key”

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My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 5)

Things you may need: Guitar Tuner

In this issue of tuning your Drums I will finally get around to looking at the last drum on most peoples kit. It is of course the ever elusive subject of Snare Drum Tuning. The snare is by far the hardest drum to tune. What makes it hard I hear you say? “Snare Buzz” I will hopefully try to give you some tips Ive picked up through my years of drumming to help you eliminate this Problem and I will attempt to do this without the use of any dampening. As I believe this to be cheating and if a good kit is tuned properly this shouldn’t be needed anyway for a live sound. But saying that obviously there are instances when recording that you might need some external dampening but I will be looking at this in my Drum Tuning Extras addition. Read the rest of this entry

Replacing your Snare Wires

Things You’ll Need

  • New set of snares
  • Two pieces of snare “rope” or plastic “strips”
  • Drum key

How to Replace Snares:

  1. Remove the old snares by loosening the lugs (screws) on the snare clamps with the drum key. The clamps are situated at the bottom on both sides of the drum. When the snare clamps are fully loosened, lift the old snares off the resonant head.
  2. Place the new snares across the resonant head. Line them up with the clamps. The new snares will come with two pieces of thin “rope” or plastic strips. These are for securing the snares to the snare clamp
  3. If you are using the rope, thread one piece through the two holes that are pre-drilled into the end of the snares. Repeat this on the other end of the snares. Take the ends of the rope and insert them into the clamp on the side of the drum. Tighten the lugs and clamp the rope in place. Repeat this on the other side, pulling the snares tightly across the head. The clamp on this side of the drum is usually attached to a “throw-off” mechanism, also called a “strainer.” This allows the snares to be lifted away from the head when the lever is dropped down. When securing the ropes to the clamps, make sure that the throw-off lever is in the on position. And that the Knob is situated at just below the half way mark.
  4. If you are using plastic strips to secure the snares, insert one strip into the slit at the end of the snares. Fold this strip and insert it into the clamp. Then stretch the snares across the drum. Insert the folded strip at the other end of the drum into the clamps. Pull the snares tight across the head by the strips and tighten the lugs, securing the snares in place.
  5. The strainer also features a round knob at the top. This is used to further tighten (or loosen) the snares. To tighten the tension, turn this knob clockwise. To loosen, turn counter clockwise.

Do not over-tighten the snares. This results in a “choked” sound and can damage the snare wires.

Any questions please feel free to email me at info@ajbennett.co.uk

My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 4)

In this issue of my tuning guide we will be looking at Bass Drum Tuning and dampening.

But first if you haven’t had a look at my other issues in this Drum Tuning Series please take a look at them first.

Topics we have covered so far are:

  • Drum Anatomy
  • Equipment needed
  • Drum Head Selection.
  • Drum Preparation
  • Drum Key Technique
  • Drum Head Seating and Tuning

There are 2 main types of Bass Drums. The first and optimal bass drum being the un drilled type. Basically it has no mountings for toms. As such no huge metal bars for the sound to escape through the downside being you have to purchase additional racking or boom arms to hold the toms. This can be costly but my preferred choice. The 2nd been the drilled type. Which has a huge hole to mount the toms on. Not great as the vibrations escape up this drying the drum out faster. But it is the cheaper option.

(pictured above is one of my kits and the kit i use for my drum covers. This has a none drilled bass drum) Read the rest of this entry

My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 3)

Welcome to part 3. In this issue we will be looking at the toms. Finally we get down to fitting that first drum head.

(All pics are of my Drum Kit and me 🙂 courtesey of James Grice.)

But first a list of the topics covered in the last edition, and if you haven’t read it please take a look before reading this:

  • Drum Preparation
  • Drum Key Technique

I tend to start with the smallest tom as it’s the highest pitched and then work my way down to the floor tom or biggest rack tom.

Right then down to it. First things first check you haven’t got a dead drum head before you start. Grab the new head and tap it in the middle you should get a very dull but slight tone out of the new head, If you don’t and instead get a duff sound the head is dead and not worth using. (the chance of this is very, very small but still worth mentioning)

Now place the head over your drum it should go straight on without any struggle. (I normally line the logo up with the support arm, Just my preference. And I start with the batter head.) Then were going to place the hoop on over the top this is normally a tighter fit and can require a slight push to get it on properly.

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My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 2)

Just a little recap on what I covered in the last article:

•    Drum Anatomy
•    Equipment needed
•    Drum Head Selection.

In this part we will be looking at preparing your drums to be tuned, and drum key technique.

Once you have your new drum heads just re tuning your kit it’s a good idea to get the hoops and heads of and just start from scratch. There is a way of removing the heads so you don’t warp or damage the drum. This can occur when there is too much pressure placed on a particular side of the drum, which can pull and distort the wood out of place. Below is a diagram of the correct technique for releasing the pressure created by the tight drum head.

The idea is that you work in opposites around the drum using your drum key (pictured below) to slowly loosen the head at each point. (turning to the left)

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My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 1)

Hello all, this will be the first issue in a multi-part blog about the ever-elusive subject of Drum Head Tuning.

I think there are two types of people that hit drums. The First been the person that plays drums, they are normally good at what they can do but lack the fundamental knowledge of differing techniques, and are missing a basic structural knowledge of music overall and a drummers relationship within a band. The other being a “Drummer”. This person not only has spent years honing different skill sets and abilities within his/her trade. But has also taken the time to understand music as a whole and how to play to compliment the piece of music being performed. Be it with different techniques like using brushes, or just being sensitive to the piece of music by not over playing or being too loud.

Ive never understood why some “drummers” shy away from this very important aspect of drumming. A nice sounding kit not only sounds great to people listening to you but you will find you will actually want to play and practice more. You will also find yourself being more creative around the kit. I find it has that affect on me anyway. Tuning is also a very good pass time. Hours just seem to fritter away. Read the rest of this entry