How do you tune your drumkit?

jopep

New member


tuning is an important thing to consider. Bang a drumkit that produce a good sound adds comfort. So now i wanna know how you tune your kit.
 

NWCrusher

New member
A tension wrench (neely?). It get's them all even, then I tweek to preferrence. The more I keep them tuned, the happier Iam playing. It's a bonding thing that makes me feel closer to my set, and in turn, I feel I play better :D
 

Animal

New member
I use two snaredrums (Yamaha RC 8" x 14" and a Pearl free floater 5" x 14"). The former I tune fairly high in pitch, the latter very high in pitch, almost like a piccolo. No particular note, just to the point were it "opens and cracks".

The toms and floor toms (10", 12", 14", 16" and 18") I tune in fourth's, just like a hybrid guitar tuning. (Guitar tune in minor third from the G string to the B sting, whilst i tune (exsample) concequently in fourth steps all the way. I don't start tuning from any particular note, just finds out were the 10" opens up, and tune the rest from there.

Example;
10" tuned in E or C
12" tuned in H or G
14" tuned in F# or D
16" tuned in C# or A
18" tuned inG# or E

(The latter note, to explain the equality with "guitar-tuning" better)

No muffleing, what so ever on any of the toms or floor toms! 8)

Bass drums?
I tune them as low as possible, without loosing the punch.
I muffle them as little as possible, just some clothing that barely touches the batter skin.
 

CooknessMunster

New member
Well I started doing this cause this is how a buddy told me they tuned the drums at the DW Factory in Oxnard. First take all the hardware off the drum so you just have the shell ....find the natural resonating note the the shell makes when you knock on it...... Write what note each drum matches to. Put everything back on it and again match the tuning to the note for each drum. I use a Drum Dial and I have written down the tension for each drum once I macthed it so tuning is a snap. The drums sound great consistantly . It is a pain in the ass to take off all the hardware but you only have to do it once really and my drums never sung like they did untill I did this.
 

funkdrmr

New member
I start with my smallest tom (8/10/12/14/16).

On each drum, the top & bottom heads are as close to a minor 3rd as I can get them. This give bend in the pitch when the tom resonates, and leads the sound down into the next drum.

The pitch difference between each drum is a 4th (think "Here comes the bride").

Snare gets tuned on it's own, as does my kick drum.

I didn't see if this was pointed out or not, but different styles get different tunings. If I was playing a jazz gig, I approach the kit as a whole a little differently than I do a rock gig.
 

anavrinIV

New member
i just tune my drums until they resonate as much as possible. i know the relative tension of the heads so i just go from there. i dont use a tension watch or find the pitch of the drum, i just tune and retune until i get a good sound then i fine tune over time from there. it takes longer than other methods but i almost never have to retune them much, just tweak every once in a while. its just how ive dont it, but i havent been playing a real long time.
 

maximilian

New member
as mentioned, perfect 4ths work well, but only on drums 2 inches larger or smaller. p4 doesn't work on rock sizes (12,13,16).
one thing nobody has mentioned yet is relative tuning between batter and resonant heads. to achieve a strong note that decays quickly i bring the resonant head up a little from the batter. for a longer note i keep them at the same pitch.
 

Animal

New member
maximilian":2ul7tr3x said:
as mentioned, perfect 4ths work well, but only on drums 2 inches larger or smaller. p4 doesn't work on rock sizes (12,13,16).
one thing nobody has mentioned yet is relative tuning between batter and resonant heads. to achieve a strong note that decays quickly i bring the resonant head up a little from the batter. for a longer note i keep them at the same pitch.
I agree on that comment. I use 10", 12", 14", 16", and 18" toms, and the perfect 4ths work well on those sizes.

Earlier, I have used more toms. Before I had the sizes 6", 8", 10", 12", 13", 14", 15" and 16".

I used the perfect 4ths for the 6", 8", 10", 12", 14" and 16".

Then I used the major second to tune between 12" and 13", and likewise tuning between 14" and 15".

It worked out well.

Basically, I wouldn't say there's any "correct way" to tune drums.

It all depends on what sizes you use, and how many drums you have.

If I was to play on two toms (say 13" and 16") I would tune in perfect fifths.
If I was to play on three toms (say 12", 13" and 16"), I would probably tune in minor 3rd beteween the 12" and 13", and perfect 4th between the 13" and 16".

But I would also say it depends on the drum-quality, and also how high you choose to pitch the smallest tom.
 

quikstang2

New member
In general, I crank my snare down and everything else is tuned to the lowest note possible with the toms tuned in a scale. I start by taking off the batter heads and just do the resonants. First is the low floor tom and then I work my way up so I get the lowest note possible wiouth having to go back and retune everything. Then I'll flip them over and do the same thing with the batter heads. I do it all by ear so I'm not sure what notes I tune them to, I just know that when they're all done it's darn near perfect. That's for my 10-piece.

As for a 4 or 5 piece, I try to match them up to what the guitars are tuned to most, as well as matching them to each other.
 

Xander

New member
tuning can be a bitch. i've learnt that it is impossible to just learn how to tune drums. you jave to do it and fail. keep on experimenting. you will get the sound you want eventually.

maybe your hoops aren't even. make sure they are completely level when you put them on a flat surface. same with the shells.
x
 

Bluestonered

New member
jopep":1ytow9b4 said:


tuning is an important thing to consider. Bang a drumkit that produce a good sound adds comfort. So now i wanna know how you tune your kit.
I tune mine with a drumkey.....
 
I thing I should first describe my DrumSet.
10" x 6 Tom w/rims (I specify as holes may change the sound of the drum)
13" x 8 Tom wo/rims
18" x 14 Bass Drum. (Closed Heads. No perforations on heads).
14" x 5 Wood Snare Drum

For Screwing I use the same tension for all towers, then I apply little changes in orther to modify the existence of Armonics or to induce de Head to produce them.

My Tune:
First: Complete Tune of Snare Drum. NO MUFFERING.
Batter Head: High Tension, Resonant Head: Also High Tension.(might have 1 little peace (1cmx3cm) of plastic self stickable paper next to the Wire Zone).

Second: Bass Drum, NO MUFFERING (f/JAZZ PLAYING)
Batter Head: HIGH TENSION, I generaly apply a bit less tension on the upper screws.
Resonant Head: NO PERFORATIONS. Medium Tension, might have a bit more tension in middle's screws.

Third: Toms Tune.
I just look for a pleasant sound, In harmony with Snare and Bass Drum.
NO MUFFERING! (even if I tune for other styles)

Thats It! Enjoy.

P.S. Sorry for posibble writing mistakes, Its been a while since the last time I write/speak in English.
 

Daneman

New member
I always start with the kick and the snare- they're the most important pieces of a kit, right? Typically tune the snare medium tight, the bass drum tighter than usual with little to no muffling and no front port.

From there I'll work on the toms- I tune my toms tighter than most people do as wel, with the resonant slighter tighter than the batters.

Once everything is tune, I'll give them a quick run through to make sure the kit is in tune with itself. If there are any issues with sympathetic snare vibrations, I always adjust the offending tom- once the snare is tunes, I'm not making any changes.
 

Rippyblood

New member
I use the Evans Hydrolic heads and I tune em' really low. They sound like an indian pow-wow drum. When we do shows and we are mic'd, they sound great. I tune em' till I like how they sound. I tune my 13" higher than my 12" and my 18" florr tom, is almost as low as my kick!
 
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