Learn how to tune drums with these easy step by step directions. This will be tailored to the beginner drummer, but some of the tips below may also be helpful to those of you who find it frustrating when you tune your drums.
I'm working on drum tuning videos for each individual piece of the drum. Much of the methods used in tuning cross over, but I would like to show you how to tune snare drums, toms and bass drums individually. I also recommend this book on Drum Tuning.
If you have never tuned drums or changed heads before, you'll want to familiarize yourself with these things before learning how to tune drums:
Parts Used in Tuning Drums:Learn about tension rods, lugs, and hoops.
Drum Keys:There are a wide range of keys, ratchets, and even drill bits for changing and tuning your drum heads. See them here.
Drum Tuner:For quick, easy, and consistent tuning, you might want to consider a manual or electronic tuner.
Before getting in to tuning drums, I want to cover a few things about drumheads. If you're familiar with how to change heads and maintain your drums, you can skip to the tuning lessons below.
Removing the Old Head: This lesson shows you how to remove a worn out head.
Drum Maintenance: After you've removed the old head, there are a few maintenance steps you should take to improve the sound quality of your drums.
Star Pattern: Before you install the new head, you'll want to know how to use the star pattern. This keeps tension even across the head and makes tuning much easier.
Installing the New Head: Once you've completed your maintenance, it's time to install and seat the new head.
Custom Bass Drum Head: This is a quick and cheap way to create your own custom resonant head.
Bass Drum Tuning:Covers two distinct ways to tune,TONE vs. FEEL, and which one is more important.
Bass Drum Muffling:You've tuned your batter head for tone and feel. Now it's time to consider muffling options before tuning your resonant head.
Tuning the snare drum is a bit more work. There are more parts to work with, mainly the snare wire and throw. You'll want to explore these parts of the snare before attempting to tune.
Snare Wire:Before you tune the resonant head, you need to remove the snare wire. This video lesson shows you how to remove and replace it.
Snare Drum Tuning - Resonant Head:Once the snare wires are removed, you need to tune the resonant head.
Tuning the Snare Drum Batter Head:Tune the batter head last. Throw your strainer off and start the lesson.
That should get you started with tuning drums. Once you're tuned up and ready to go, continue learning with the drum lessons below.