How to tune your drum set
To be able to get the most out of your drum set, you need to tune your drum set. Drum tuning is one of the most important things any drummer can do. Before every practice and every show the drummer needs to check the sound quality of the drum set to make sure that the acoustical sound of the drum set provides is correct. The drummer will need to check the bass drum, the cymbal, the snare, the hi-hat and the tom-tom’s. Today, we will provide you with the basics to make sure you get the most out of your drum set each and every time you play. At the center of every drum set are the snare drums. Every time you play you will need to re-tune the snare drums. You should start by adjusting the drumhead’s by turning the lugs located around the drumhead. To increase both the tension and the pitch you should turn each lug clockwise. To make sure that the tension distributes evenly across the drumhead be sure to tighten the lugs in pairs of opposite lugs. As you make the adjustments continuously check the acoustical benefits of your drums. As you are tightening the drum lugs be careful not to tighten too much. If you over tighten the drum lugs you could break your snare drums. Repeat the process until every point on the drumhead produces the same sound. By doing this not only do you protect your snare drums but you also provide increased musical enjoyment for your audience. Now it is time to move on to tuning the tom-tom drums. You start adjusting the tom-tom by concentrating on the bottom head of each tom-tom drum. Using the same drummer’s key that you used to adjust your snare drums you should turn each lug to achieve the desired pitch. You should repeat the tuning process in pairs by tuning opposite lugs. You should continuously repeat this process until the tom-tom drums have achieved the sound you want. By turning the key counterclockwise you will reduce the tension on the tom-tom drum, and this will decrease the pitch of the tom-tom drum. Depending on the type of music that you want to play you will need to change the pitch of your tom-tom drums to match your musical instrument style. Check the sound by lightly tapping on the drumhead to ensure that the sounds are evenly distributed. Every drum set comes complete with the bass drum. The bass drum has a very large drumhead and needs to be fine-tuned to provide that extra low pitch punch to your music instrument. Use drumsticks to lightly tap the drumhead at various points to listen to how it sounds. You want a nice uniform thud sound coming from all parts of the drumhead. So much depends on your style of music and the pitch of your bass drum is no different. Depending on your individual music style you will need to adjust the drumhead accordingly. Some people say that it doesn’t really matter if you spend too much time turning drumhead because it’s only purpose is to provide a large base sound for your drum beat. I still like to pay special attention to this part of my drum kit because it is what provides a solid foundation to my drummer’s kit. As you’re tuning your drum set go over the music you’re going to be playing in your mind. Think yourself how you want the tones, sound and the rhythm of each type of music you’re going to play will sound. While tuning your drum sets you’ll keep this in mind and decide whether you want that high-pitched sound from a bass drum or if you would like a nice low deep intense musical experience. As usual take out your drummer’s key and begin to turn the lugs. These are called tension rods and tension screws. Since your base drum permanently mounted upon a base you will be able to easily adjust the tone with the change of beat. Snare drums are a very important part of your drum kit and you want to pay special attention to the acoustical sound that you’re snare drum provides. The quality of the tones produced can vary greatly depending on the type of wood used in the making of your drum set. Pure wood drums produce higher-quality notes than plywood drums. Remember every drummer needs a drum key; the drum key is what is used to adjust the sound of all the drums. You’ll need to make sure that your drum key is the same size as the lugs that you are using on your drums. And remember practice makes perfect you should tune your drum set in every possible way to know what to do and what not to do. Batter Head – This is the top head struck by the drum stick. Resonant Head – This is the bottom drum head which will control the drum’s resonance. Tension Rod – This is the bolt that goes through the hole in the rim and into the drum lug. This controls the tension of the drum head on the bearing edge. Bearing Edge – This is the edge around the drum which the drum head lays on. Bearing edges can be cut by the drum builder at varying degrees. Rim – Is a metal hoop used to hold the head onto the drum. Tension rods go through the holes in the rim and attached into the drum lugs. Drum Key – This is a small T-shaped tool designed especially to fit tension rods. The key is used to turn the tension rods which tune the drums.