Tuning Your Drums

The drums are the backbone of any musical group and if the drums don’t sound right then nothing is going to sound right.  Keeping your drum set in tune is important to the whole sound and a drum set has plenty of parts that need to be tuned.  Tuning your drums isn’t hard and we can help you keep your drum set sounding pitch perfect.  Here is a look at what tuning your drum set consists of.

Your snare drum, kick drum, toms are all going to be tuned every now and then and most drum sets are tuned using the same methods.  Every time that your drum head has been replaced it is going to need to be tuned.  Your drum consists of a these basic parts, hoop, tension rod, tension rod holder and the drum head.  You will also need a drum key to tighten the tension rods and if you want to get the best sound out of your drums then you should invest in a drum dial.  It’s worth noting that cymbals don’t get tuned so invest in the best cymbals you can afford.  So let’s get down to the steps needed to tune your drums.

  1. Start with the drum head and the rim, you want to put your drum on the floor and take a dry cloth and wipe down the edges to get rid of any dust and dirt.
  2. Put your drum head on the drum itself and tighten it by hand as much as you can. Now you can work with the lugs and you will want to do it in a criss-cross pattern. Do this until you make it all the way around the drum, doing it this way makes sure that the head is even all the way around.
  3. While you are tightening each lug you want push down on the rim, do this all the way around the drum in the same criss-cross pattern. When you have all of the lugs tightened you want to push down on the center of the head until you hear the glue crack on the head.  That makes sure that the head is seated and it has full contact with the shell.
  4. Take the drum key and work your way around but again you want to criss-cross your way around the drum.  Turn all of the lugs somewhere in between ¼ to ½ turn until all the creases and wrinkles are gone.  Hit the center of the drum head to check the pitch of the drum head.  Go all the way around turning the lugs until you get the perfect tone.
  5. If your drums have two heads then do this method again. Get both heads tuned to the same pitch, that can be a personal preference thing.  You will find drummers that like to loosen the bottom head to create a different sound.

Buying Your First Set of Drums

There is nothing more exciting than getting your very first set of drums.  You have been waiting ever so patiently and now you’re ready!  Before getting your first set of drums there are some things that you need to look into first.  Let’s have a look at what you should be considering before you by that very first drumkit.

Start with a starter kit

Being a newbie can make buying a drumkit pretty overwhelming.  Starter drumkits are put together for the beginner and they have everything you need to get you started.  Here are some of the things that come in a starter drumkit.

  • Snare drum
  • Bass drum
  • Floor tom
  • 2 mounted tom toms


Cymbals are usually not a part of the drumkit they are sold separately.  You will need cymbals so look into getting a cymbal kit as well.  As for the type of cymbals you will need a crash cymbal, ride cymbal and a high hat.  This will get you started and work for you while you are learning.

The Hardware

After the drums and cymbals you’re going to need hardware and the hardware is made up of the stands, pedals and the “throne” or seat that you will sit on to play.  Some drumkits will come with all of this included but in some cases you will have to purchase it all separately.   When it comes to the pedal try to get at least a medium to professional pedal, it will last you far longer than a beginner pedal.

When it comes to your “throne”  or the seat you are using don’t think you can scrimp here and use a kitchen chair instead.  You need the right support and a seat that will absorb the impact that comes with drumming.  Also your back won’t appreciate a kitchen chair for very long.

Used Drumkits

While you can get a used drumkit at a fairly decent price you still need to exercise some caution.  Go over the drums carefully and make sure that the plastic is firmly attached to the shells and it isn’t lifting anywhere. You want to make sure that there are no air pockets anywhere.  Now you want to look for chipping or dents along the edges and that everything is level.

Buying your first set of drums is pretty exciting and for some it might be the first step in a long musical career.  Others may just play drums purely as a hobby and a way to relax.  Whatever the case might be get the best set you can for your budget.