Tuning Drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Cosme, Oct 12, 2006.

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  1. Cosme

    Cosme Guest

    What's the best way to tune rock drums, is a specific tone pattern between toms necessary?, what tone should the tom's top and the bottom heads have?
  2. songquester

    songquester Guest

    Well a lot if it has to so with what type of heads you are using, I recommend Evans G2 Clear for the real deep tone, with a loose tuning. What I mean by loose is when they are just tight enough so they don't rattle tighten them just a hair more and that should be good, on the bottom heads tune them just a little tighter then the top heads. Also moon gel works great to kill any over tones that you might be hearing.
  3. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    That's a really good question. At first, I thought you were asking it in the wrong place. Then I remembered my first recording session, and the engineer knew a lot more about tuning the drums than I did. I'm a drummer, and I still can't answer that question.

    Every drummer and drum kit sound different. Good luck.
  4. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    As songquester suggests, heads play a huge role.

    For rock, I tune a bit different than a lot of folks...

    Start with the largest tom.... They take the longest and are usually a bit of a PITA... better to get it right first IMO. With the bottom head off, tighten the lugs by hand until they are uniformly snug. Take the key to each lug 1/4 turn until the drum just becomes resonant. Be SURE to count the total turns. (Counting 1/4's are easiler for me.)

    Put the bottom head on and snug like the top head. Tune the bottom head the same count of turns +1/4 turn. Then take ONE bottom lug and DETUNE by 1/2 turn.

    You'll probably have to fiddle a bit to get a solid tone... but not much. Once you get the drum sounding good. Tune the other toms in similar fashion.

    Depending on the heads and drum itself, you can either attempt to tune the drums in 3rds... (I like minor thirds the best) or you can just work with the fundamental resonace point.

    Good luck!

  5. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    it's worth to read:


  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I know this is not really what you are asking, but I recommend a Drumdial tuner. It's great for putting all the lugs in equal tension quickly. You still need to listen find the best intervals, relative tuning between batter and resonant head, etc. (i.e. the stuff you are really asking about) but at least you can just listen for those clues rather than spending time trying to get the drum "in tune with itself."

    As far as intervals for rock, I think the optimal intervals depend a lot on the set. If the set sounds best tunded in fouths - that's the way to tune it. Not in some predetermined way that "sounds best for rock." Now you can choose heads that are drier or more resonant, brighter or more fundamental but it seems to me the tuning is dependent on the shells.
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