#1
Hi, I've been drumming for more than half my life now(I'm 16, got my first kit for Christmas half a month before my 8th birthday), and I've only just realized now that I got some good noise-cancelling headphones and started jamming along to actual tracks a month or so ago that my drum kit sounds REALLY tinny and abrasive to the ears, compared to when I have my headphones on or when listening to recordings(I used a Samson G Track guitar condenser to record a little drum track once, and it sounded fine through that). Would tuning have anything to do with this? I haven't tuned my kit since I got it for my 9th birthday, and my cymbals sound pretty much fine. I've got an old Peavey International Series II kit that I'm not sure of the age of, with Evans Genera G2 Coated drumheads(and an Evans Reverse Power Dot head on the snare), with Vater 3A Fatbacks and Vater Los Angeles 5As for sticks if that helps any.
Quote by SlayingDragons
Nah, I prefer to tune lower. My tunings usually go into weird Hebrew symbols.
#3
Quote by Alex Vik
Yeah I think the fact that you haven't tuned it for years might have something to do with it.

Alright, thank you. How does one exactly go about tuning though? I've...honestly got no idea how to tune a drum kit, I'm more of a guitar techie...xD Is there a specific pitch? Or do you just tune it 'til it doesn't turn anymore?
Quote by SlayingDragons
Nah, I prefer to tune lower. My tunings usually go into weird Hebrew symbols.
#4
Tune it 'till you like the sound, IIRC.
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#5
It's kind of complicated. First you need to make sure you have the tool to tune the drums. I think that it would be called a wrench in english?

Most drums (specially the toms) have 5 tuning points. Mute each drum by pressing it with your hand, and hit it with your drumstick in front of each tuning point: they should all sound the same, so you will need the tool. Even so, they can be tuned to the pitch you like the most. If you have bottom heads on the toms, you will most likely want to do the same process on them. The correct tuning is the one you like the most.

Good luck!

(I'm really sorry I can't remember the name of the tool. English isn't my first language, but I'm sure that if you have ever seen the tool you will know what I mean. If you need any further help, send me a PM)
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#6
Alright, one of my buddies just said he'd lend me his drum key, as I don't have one, though I'll probably pick one up when I get the money(I'm in the process of getting a $900 Schecter I'm paying off ATM). Thanks, guys!
Quote by SlayingDragons
Nah, I prefer to tune lower. My tunings usually go into weird Hebrew symbols.
Last edited by Enix165 at Apr 30, 2011,
#7
Once you have a drum key, just basically tune one lug to whatever pitch you want, and then from there, try and get every lug to match the pitch of the first one you tuned as closely as possible. That's all there is to it.

Also, have you changed the heads recently? If not, then you should, and once those are on, tune them. Should sound worlds better.
#8
Quote by Steve08
Once you have a drum key, just basically tune one lug to whatever pitch you want, and then from there, try and get every lug to match the pitch of the first one you tuned as closely as possible. That's all there is to it.

Also, have you changed the heads recently? If not, then you should, and once those are on, tune them. Should sound worlds better.


I haven't changed the heads on the kit since when my drum teacher put them on for me when I got the kit. I'm only really seeing wear on the snare drum(there's little darker spots on the toms, but it's not much of anything, my snare's centre is pretty much greyed out and the circle in the middle is visible), I didn't really drum from ages 12-14, and I've only been regularly practicing on this kit for a little over a year now. Should you swap heads every year or two regardless?
Quote by SlayingDragons
Nah, I prefer to tune lower. My tunings usually go into weird Hebrew symbols.
#9
If you don't really play them often then the actual wear on the heads won't be too great, but they can get worn out just by being stretched out on the drum head for a while. If there's cratering in it (by this I mean like, an actual dent in the head, not a mark or scuff) or the head just won't stay in tune, then that's when you should be changing them even if it's like, after a month. Mine are usually fairly beat up after a month or two, but I play quite a bit and hit at a pretty decent volume most of the time, so it's going to be different for you presumably.

If the heads are THAT old, then yes, you should probably replace them even if they don't seem too messed up

For a really durable snare head I would recommend an Evans Onyx. Or if you want a REAAAALLY durable one, Evans Hybrid, which is basically a marching snare head designed to be use on a conventional snare drum... it's made out of kevlar I think haha.
#10
Quote by Steve08
If you don't really play them often then the actual wear on the heads won't be too great, but they can get worn out just by being stretched out on the drum head for a while. If there's cratering in it (by this I mean like, an actual dent in the head, not a mark or scuff) or the head just won't stay in tune, then that's when you should be changing them even if it's like, after a month. Mine are usually fairly beat up after a month or two, but I play quite a bit and hit at a pretty decent volume most of the time, so it's going to be different for you presumably.

If the heads are THAT old, then yes, you should probably replace them even if they don't seem too messed up

For a really durable snare head I would recommend an Evans Onyx. Or if you want a REAAAALLY durable one, Evans Hybrid, which is basically a marching snare head designed to be use on a conventional snare drum... it's made out of kevlar I think haha.

Alright, thank you very much, my good man! I'm gonna go get myself a full new set soon as I get the cash, haha.
Quote by SlayingDragons
Nah, I prefer to tune lower. My tunings usually go into weird Hebrew symbols.
#11
WOW, haven't tuned your drums for 7-8 years! Some new heads, and tuning would fix your problem. As for tuning, http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/index.html...check that site out, when I started that helped me SOOOO much. *Also, I'd recommend NOT getting a drum dial until you can tune by ear. People rely on that thing way too much, and can't tune a drum without one.
#12
Quote by AmericanZero13
WOW, haven't tuned your drums for 7-8 years! Some new heads, and tuning would fix your problem. As for tuning, http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/index.html...check that site out, when I started that helped me SOOOO much. *Also, I'd recommend NOT getting a drum dial until you can tune by ear. People rely on that thing way too much, and can't tune a drum without one.



Not only that but I've seen drummers swear by it as if it tunes your drums, it's like the Evans Torque Key, it gets you in the rough ball park (American lingo correct there? I'm English so I wouldn't know lol) But you still need to do the fine tuning.

Huge +1 for the link though
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