How do you tune your snare?

Tama, Pearl, Yamaha, Premier, Mapex etc.

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skinnyme
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Post Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:10 pm

40 years plus exp playing drums - so listen up ...

First off - it's the drum and the head combo...
Big large snare shell? Heavy Heads - if you are a heavy hitter.
You will get more volume with a heavy head on a larger shell.

Light - med if a lighter hitter - still works - but you are not using the capabilities of the larger shell.

And if ya want a deep power rock sound -
Tuned low top head - not so loose you cannot do a roll ...
NOW tune the bottom snare head - Tuned ONE OCTAVE higher than the Top Batter head.

Takes a little patience and a tuning pitch key - or sharp ear.
Once you get the octave = golden.

Try differerent notes on tuning the Top Head - try E, D, C, G
and then Octave the bottom head.

Same thing with Picolos - Tight top head ...
Octave the botton head lower:
Or match the same: see below

Even try fifths on head diversion:

OK:
NOW tap the head near the edge next to a lug,
hear the overtone?
hit the next lug over next to the rim again...
Is there a difference in sound? overtone?

Probly so -
whip out your key and even the head out - ALL the way around -
till the pitch matches all the way around the edges of the head

BANG it - hit it with your fist - and retune it again...

DO not WHACK the bottom snare head with a stick - same technique as above BUT: take the snares OFF and:
use your finger to tap the bottom snare head next to the rim - and tune.

Once you have a solid "tom" sound outta your snare with no to little over ring - whether high or low .... re-attach snares.


Different shells like different tuning.

Experiment.
Learn.
Adapt.


It takes time.... to learn your drum (s)

My - so far fav snare - is a Ludwig Supraphonic Metal, Black sparkle.
70's issue.
Freakin thing is LOUD.
Remo Heavy with DOT top head - tuned tight - a high E
Standard thin snare head - tuned half the top head at two octaves lower
Snares pulled just tight - not loose - but almost
All original on the drum 'cept the heads...even have the original case
I'll take $1000, for it....

Maybe .... LOL

I play:

Pearl Drums
Sabian
Ziljian
Paiste
Vic Firth SD1
Ludwig 70's Supraphonic snare - imaculate condition
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Bluestonered
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Post Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:39 am

this thread is kinda like do you scrunch your toilet paper or fold?? I find there are alot of drummers that just dont get the tuning of their snare right.. it DOES depend on the style of music and setting (live/recording). Generally the bottom head should be tight, much tighter than you would do on your toms. The top of the snare comes down to the sound you want..but knowing when to stop and not to overtighten and choke the snare. I find drummers who play real fast have their top heads tight for quick bounce, but then ghost strokes just dont work properly, and if its too loose then it wont cut through the music enough.

Definately stretch the head in. I still wind the lugs up as tight as they'll go and put my snare on the floor and step on the head (I have a steel snare, it's not gunna break on me)....bounce around abit.....loosen off all the lugs.....wind them all the way up again......loosen them all off and then making sure all the lugs are finger tight. Do quater turns with your key fom one lug, moving to the opposite lug, move to the right, quater turn, then the opposite etc etc in a clockwise motion...tapping intermitently just outside the rim with the stick, in line with a lug and then checking the tonal difference between the lug opposite so all the lugs sound the same. And just practice and be patient. It might also take an hour or two before the heads wear in and the snare really starts to crank the way you want it.

One more thing, I actually have found the sweet spot of my snare, and its not by hitting it dead in the cente, but about 2 and 1/2 inches diagonally right from the centre of my snare whilst hitting the rim...
Last edited by Bluestonered on Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FelterSkelter
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Post Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:13 am

I take the resonant head off of my snare. It makes it sound like a concert snare.

(HAHA I couldn't help myself)
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skinnyme
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Post Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:16 am

He is right on everything - but each drum is different.
Each Player is too...
Style...yes
Tuning. Yes
Shell. yes
Heads. yes
Sticks = a big yes.

What sound do you want?
Make it happen - tune and retune. Try other heads.
Try a deeper shell - or maybe a 13 inch (I love my 13 inch Pearl snare too)
Try a marching snare ... tune it tight with a dot head - and tune the snare head loose ... snares barely tight - and hit it with 2Bs hard LIVE on stage ...
OUCH


EVERYTHING maters.
It will take you time and patience to get the comeplete combo for you right.
A Snare will sound different even with a larger stick and more force applied.
There are so many combinations - and styles...

You just have to do what works for you - but use ours and
( mine - 40 years )
_ suggestions_
We can't all be wrong :)


Bluestonered wrote:this thread is kinda like do you scrunch your toilet paper or fold?? I find there are alot of drummers that just dont get the tuning of their snare right.. it DOES depend on the style of music and setting (live/recording). Generally the bottom head should be tight, much tighter than you would do on your toms. The top of the snare comes down to the sound you want..but knowing when to stop and not to overtighten and choke the snare. I find drummers who play real fast have their top heads tight for quick bounce, but then ghost strokes just dont work properly, and if its too loose then it wont cut through the music enough.

Definately stretch the head in. I still wind the lugs up as tight as they'll go and put my snare on the floor and step on the head (I have a steel snare, it's not gunna break on me)....bounce around abit.....loosen off all the lugs.....wind them all the way up again......loosen them all off and then making sure all the lugs are finger tight. Do quater turns with your key fom one lug, moving to the opposite lug, move to the right, quater turn, then the opposite etc etc in a clockwise motion...tapping intermitently just outside the rim with the stick, in line with a lug and then checking the tonal difference between the lug opposite so all the lugs sound the same. And just practice and be patient. It might also take an hour or two before the heads wear in and the snare really starts to crank the way you want it.

One more thing, I actually have found the sweet spot of my snare, and its not by hitting it dead in the cente, but about 2 and 1/2 inches diagonally right from the centre of my snare whilst hitting the rim...
Jay Brearley
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Post Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:59 pm

downshifter99 wrote:I use a Aquarian Hi-Energy batter head(indesrtuctable)and crank it very tight!

Resonate head is standard tuned.

Snare strainer is cranked VERY tight!

Half piccolo,half Helmet (the band) sounding.

Alot of bounce for ultimate stick action...plus,It cuts through the 180db amps in my face.

The snare is the "SACK" of rock-n-roll drumming!!!!!!!!!!!


I hope you dont have 180dB amps in your face because 120dB is the human threshold of pain. 180dB would instantly deafen you!
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earldrum
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Post Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:55 am

I tune my snare to a pitch that sounds good on the drum I am playing. That means a deeper shell will generally have a lower - mid-range pitch. Where a piccolo will have a popping higher pitch. There are not many snare drums (but there are a few) that can give you a real high piccolo sounds and the deep 70's power ballad sound.

So, I guess my advise is to tune to the best sound the drum will produce and don't try be too extreme in your tuning. Use the right size drum for the sound you want and if you need a different sound then purchase the size drum that will produce the sound.
Drummyfizzle
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Post Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:15 pm

I've always played with metal snares but recently have got a new kit (my Mapex Saturn) which came with a Wood snare.

I just can't get the same crack from it and it's always really ringy, although, to be fair I think I'm trying to get to tight a sound from such a big drum or should it be possible to get a good tight crack from a 14 x 7 maple snare or should I just leave it with a big rock sound and use my steel tama drum for the crack sound?

Any comments would be welcomed.
Come Shizzle wit the Fizzle bra's.

Drummyfizzle plays Mapex and Premier drums with Sabian & Zildjian cymbals, oh and a Tama snare. lol
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skinnyme
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Post Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:11 pm

You will never get the *crack outta that big wood snare like the steel Tama.
Appreciate it for what it does sound like tho.
Hard to beat a *power rocking thunder maple snare!
Try some Evans EC2 on that fat maple.
That will help with the ringy.
And make sure the head is evenly tuned.
If it is a mic'ed drum in a live situation - the sound man can help with the overall sound - even diff mics will change the sound thru the PA

Keep *sticking with it*
Skinnyme

Pearl Drums
Vic Firth SD1 Generals
Evans Heads on toms
Ludwig Supraphonic snare (70's)
Ziljian, Paiste, Sabian ...

ps: I had a Tama Artstar kit *long shell in the 80's ... It kicked butt for Big Hair Band sound with an 8 inch maple snare OOOooohhh...
I had to get a *shorter snare stand !!



Drummyfizzle wrote:I've always played with metal snares but recently have got a new kit (my Mapex Saturn) which came with a Wood snare.

I just can't get the same crack from it and it's always really ringy, although, to be fair I think I'm trying to get to tight a sound from such a big drum or should it be possible to get a good tight crack from a 14 x 7 maple snare or should I just leave it with a big rock sound and use my steel tama drum for the crack sound?

Any comments would be welcomed.
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skitch
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Post Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:22 pm

I just tune mine where it sounds good to me! High and crappy some say but I do like the advice that is presented here!
Bowmanator
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Post Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:04 am

pork pie 6x14 maple, and 5x14 dw edge

ambassador or power center 1ply

medium to loose top, loose bottom with loose snares, sometimes tighten the top up a little.

bonham/beaufor/cobham sounding snares
DW-AUDIX-SABIAN-EVANS-VicFirth
AJ
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Post Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:38 am

Remember, if you don't get any buzz from the snares when you lightly tap your snare drum, it is commonly because they are too tight and not too loose.

It's ridiculous how many drummers don't take the time to tune their drums. I guess it takes playing them for a while before you can even develop the ear to know how to tune 'em.
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DrummerSnake
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Post Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:27 am

I like skinnyme's advice, the only way to find what you like is to experiment. And if you know you don't have the ear to tune each lug, have your guitar player help. They might need some time to differenciate all the overtones happening at the same time, but once they do, they can help a lot. Of course, learning how to tune from someone than knows how is the way to go. Have skinneyme come to your house and show you...
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stidger
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Post Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:50 am

tuning is the biggest pain
everyone likes a slightly different sound so tune to your own tastes
snares off to start with
i tune the batter head first, fairly tight, then tune the bottom head tilll i get the response i like
then pop the snares back on and make any tweaks you feel are required

i sometimes use a muffle ring, sometimes not, depends on what i am after

best of luck
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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stidger
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Post Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:53 am

oh yeah

another tip is a simple and obvious one
get some help from your dealer first time out
they are usually happy to help and are usually fairly experienced when it comes to tuning

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: