Drum Tuning

Tuning a drum kit can be a very mysterious process for a beginner, but with a bit of practice you’ll
begin to realize just how easy it can be!
Picking what kind of sound you want will take a lot of the guessing out of the process. A good starting
point is to listen to your favourite styles of music and try to emulate the tones that you are hearing.

1. Using a drum key loosen all tension rods and remove the old heads.

Tension Rods
2. Wipe off any dirt or dust from the drum shell.

Dust
3. Place new drum head on (ask your local music shop what heads will suit you).

New Head
4. Finger tighten all lugs.

finger_tighten
5. Tension the drum in the star fashion making half turns insuring all lugs are tensioned evenly as you
go.

Star
6. Hit the drum as you tension to emulate the tone you are going for.

tuning-snare-drum-head
(Rule of thumb – Snare drums are usually medium to high tension. Toms are medium to low tension).
7. Repeat the same process for the bottom skin.
Remember to tune one head (top or bottom) tighter than the other. Trying both ways will give you
different results so it’s worth mucking around with both tunings. Try to avoid even tension on both
heads. Any unwanted overtone (ring of the drum) can be fixed with studio rings or moon gel.
And that’s it!
Remember be patient, keep practicing and the results will come!

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