DRUM TUNING / SET-UP
Drum Tuning / Set-up Service
Are your drums sounding dull and lifeless? To those inexperienced drummers, and even some of the professionals, drum tuning is a mysterious dark art. Many simply don’t know what to do, which is a shame because tuned drums can sound fantastic.
A drum’s sound depends on many factors: the shell construction, material and thickness; the condition of the bearing edges; the room ambience, all play a part in creating the drums ‘character’; however, one of the biggest factors is the age and condition of the drum heads (sometimes called skins). If the heads are old, damaged or crinkled, your drums will most likely not sound great. Changing the heads and tuning them appropriately can drastically improve a stodgy sounding drum.
Modern Drummer article on tuning.
Geoff Nicholls, author of the Drum Handbook, has many a wise word on the subject of tuning. To give you some idea what drummers are up against, he comments, “…tuning a kit is a laborious, complicated process. It’s more akin to tuning a piano – and you get a specialist in to do that. […] many famous drummers in mega bands also have specialists who come in to tune their drums for them when they make records […] because the sound of a drum kit is such a variable concept. Obviously, the more drums you have, the bigger job it becomes to tune the kit. Fortunately, most kits only have 2-4 toms, but getting them to sound right when they’re next to each other can be surprisingly difficult at times!