Topic: Tuning your drums  (Read 1225 times)

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Offline Bart Elliott

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Tuning your drums
« on: July 27, 2003, 09:45 PM »
Q: When do you retune your drums?

A: I just tune until it's right; there's no time element involved. If you are talking about putting new drumheads on, I would plan to spend one to two hours replacing an tuning a 5 piece kit (top and bottom heads). Once you have the heads seated properly, and they are broken in, I usually only spend a few minutes tweaking the drums ... getting them back to where I want them sound wise.

If you move your drums to a different venue, indoors or outdoors, be prepared to do some minor tuning to get them sounding at their peak capacity. The sound is going to be different from room to room, hall to hall, etc.

I just use my ears. I've had some students purchase the TAMA Tuning Watch ... so I've worked with it a bit. The device does work, but I get the same results ... much quicker I might add, just using my ears. I think this is just because I've done it a lot (20 years), and have had a lot of ear training from my college music training ... as well as my music engineering background.

If you are just starting out or haven't been tuning drums for very long ... I think it's perfectly fine to use a device ... as long as you continue to develop your ear. You're not always going to have the time needed to use the device ... like on the gig. You need to be able to grab a drum key, make a few taps and turns ... and away you go. This takes time to develop; some pick up on it faster than others.

Also, ask your fellow drummers what they do, especially the ones who are getting the sound that you are going for.

Hope this helps a bit.


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