New member
Often I wonder if I'm tuning my drums correctly. Most of the time I can get something out of them which sounds decent....but sometimes I feel they sound weird.

I've gone through all kinds of different approaches from using a torque tuning key to tuning by ear. I found tuning by ear to be a much more flexible way of doing it. I also studied the Bob Gatzen tuning video over and over again, following his techniques to the last step.

I change the heads frequently and I check the bearing edges to make sure that there is no wear on them. Usually I tune both sides so they sound fairly high...because I don't want the the drum to sound flat. But if I go way to high I'm afraid that I'll box the drum out and get no sound or bounce out of it.

Does anyone have suggestions for a balanced approach to tuning? I'd greatly appreciate the feedback. Thanks! :)


New member
Remember that even though single head may produce a high pitch, the drum can sound low.
A balanced tuning method? Tune both heads the same pitch, then tune the drum to the point where you like the sound best. It is also good to tune all the drums the same way. For example, if you tune one drum low and it sounds good, tune all drums low. That way you retain similar sound characteristics and make a better overall sound of the kit. I tune my floor toms (18 16) high and my tom (12) low. The reason for that is I have hybrid walnut/maple shells (Mapex) and when tuned high the drums have maply brightness and warmth, but when tuned low they have a really earthy throaty walnut sound. So I have floor toms that cut with clean attack but still are low in pitch and one tom that has full low-endish characteristics.

Look around the forums (search engine) and you'll find plenty of information on tuning.