Hello, My girlfriend is learning drums a basic tuning question

#1
Hi:

I'm active on the guitar section of Ultimate Guitar and found this drum section. My girlfriend and I were perusing the posts and found out about tuning a drum kit. She currently has a very basic drum kit and takes lessons. How does this device work?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/drumdial-drum-tuner

Is it accurate? Can it tune to different tones? How often do you tune? Is this what most drummers use who don't tune by ear? Is there a better standard? She practices two hours a day.

She has her next music lesson next Saturday. So, she can ask her instructor but we wanted to know in advance.

Thanks for the advice in advance.
#2
As far as I know a drumdial works by basically measuring the tension of the head. The idea is (I think) that you place it next to the lugs on the drumhead, and it basically gives you a number for how tight the head is. You then try and get all of the tensions near the lugs to be similar, thus making sure the head is at even tension (and so at the same pitch wherever you strike it), which is the first thing you're trying to achieve by tuning.

So basically, it eliminates the need to use your ear to make sure the head is in tune with itself. I assume it to be fairly accurate, since they get good reviews, but I've never really used one (I don't need one enough to shell out £40-£60).

I probably only tune my drums once every couple of months, or before a show where my kit is being used, but really there isn't a set time. If you play often (or use cheap/old heads) your kit will go noticeably out of tune more quickly.
#3
Learning on a drum dial would be a crutch to her skills in the long run. Learn by ear, it is the best way. Jared Falk has a great video on Youtube showing drum tuning. Basically, when I learned to tune I just typed into Youtube, "How to drum tuning".
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Last edited by timbit2006 at Dec 16, 2013,
#5
Quote by timbit2006
Learning on a drum dial would be a crutch to her skills in the long run.

I very much disagree with this.

I learned with a DrumDial and now (for the most part), tune by ear. I wouldn't be nearly as good at it as I am now, if it weren't for the DrumDial. It allowed me to get in the ballpark, by getting even tension across the heads and being able to experiment by tuning each head to specific number ratings. Without the DrumDial, my drums would always turn out pretty horrible sounding. Now that I've used it for several years, I don't feel like I really need it anymore (which is why I listed it on Craiglist last week), but that doesn't keep me from recommending it to people. It's a great learning reinforcement tool IMO, especially for how cheap they go for used. ~$35 shipped to your door is pennies compared to how quickly it will help an inexperienced player

IMO, it's even a great tool for an experienced drummer, who knows how he or she likes their drums tuned. Reference your settings on the DrumDial after you've gotten the tuning right, use a permanent marker to mark down the number on the DrumDial on your heads and then it's super quick to tune it, if it falls out of range, or you change to new heads.
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#6
Quote by timbit2006
Learning on a drum dial would be a crutch to her skills in the long run. Learn by ear, it is the best way. Jared Falk has a great video on Youtube showing drum tuning. Basically, when I learned to tune I just typed into Youtube, "How to drum tuning".


Okay, I don't know anything about tuning drums, and I honestly don't know why I just wandered into the drum forum, but I very much disagree with this. I would never tell a guitar player to not learn tuning with a tuner. You can't learn to tune something without knowing what that thing sounds like in tune. If I had started playing guitar without a tuner, I would have only tuned my guitar as well as my noob ears could get it, and then never any better because I would never known that it wasn't being tuned well enough.