how to tune drums: Essential Skills for Any Drummer
Updated: May 5
As a drummer, it's important to not only master the art of playing but also the art of maintaining and tuning your drum kit. Proper maintenance and tuning can help prolong the life of your drums and cymbals and ensure that they sound their best. In this blog, we'll focus on the essential skills for maintenance and tuning, including tips and tricks to keep your kit in top shape.
Keeping Your Drums Clean
The first step in maintaining your drums is to keep them clean. Dirt, dust, and grime can accumulate on your drum kit, which can affect the sound quality and even cause damage to the drums over time. You can clean your drums with a soft cloth and a mild cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage the drum's finish. You should also wipe down your cymbals regularly to remove any fingerprints or stick marks.
Always use drum cases for transportation: Protect your drums by using padded cases when transporting them to gigs or rehearsals. for circumstances where the cases are going to be thrown around such as the back of a van or under and aeroplane use hard plastic cases instead. Flight cases are the most durable case but by far the heaviest, largest and most expensive. For most drummers who carry drums in the back of a car Protection Racket offer a great product range. This will help prevent scratches and dents.
Tuning Your Drums
Tuning your drums is an essential skill for any drummer. Proper tuning can help ensure that your drums sound their best and are in tune with each other. You can use a drum key to adjust the tension of the drumheads. The general rule of thumb is to tune the top and bottom heads of each drum to the same pitch. or have the bottom head tunes higher than the top.
You must ensure that the drum head is in tune with itself and have a chosen relationship with the other drums in your kit. If you're unsure about how to tune your drums, consider taking a lesson from a professional drummer or tuning your drums and invert in an electronic tuner.
here is a great video for you to watch to learn to master drum tuning in just 10 minutes!
Over time, drumheads can become worn, dented, split or damaged, affecting the sound pitch and quality of your drums. When this happens, it's time to replace the drumhead. You can purchase replacement drumheads at most music stores or online. To replace the drumhead, remove the old head and clean the drum rim. Place the new head on the drum and tighten the tension rods evenly. You should also tune the new drumhead to ensure that it's in tune with the other drums in your kit.
The hardware on your drum kit, including the stands, pedals, and cymbal mounts, also needs maintenance to ensure that it's functioning correctly. You can clean your hardware with a soft cloth and a mild cleaner. You should also check for any loose bolts or screws and tighten them as needed. If you're experiencing any problems with your hardware, such as a loose pedal or cymbal mount, consider taking your kit to a professional drum technician for repair. Drum hardware will break if left in very cold conditions such as the boot of your car (from experience) and hardware will rust VERY quickly if ever left wet or damp after use.
Store your drums properly: When you're not using your drum kit, it's important to store it in a safe and dry location. Keep it away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and most importantly moisture.
By following these tips, you can keep your drum kit in top condition and ensure that it sounds great every time you play