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.