How tight is too tight (on the snare)

Discussion in 'General' started by lrod1707, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. ThomFloor

    ThomFloor Well-Known Member

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    At that point, I suggest you use some restraint. When your mind is telling you "ok, just a little tighter," maybe ignore it. Try it out.

    A drum doesn't 'come loose' by not being tightened enough. Conversely, one doesn't 'break' a drum by over tightening either. The heads maybe yes, but a new head is pretty damn strong. Some can strain the lugs yes, but a drum can take it, especially a metal one. What it cannot take well is grossly *uneven tension* - that will bend shells, hoops etc.

    Wires - tight enough so that you get some buzz and action by movement of the stick only quarter-inch off the head. If you are not getting any buzz or action from such a light hit, the wires are too tight, and choked.

    It seems to be in vogue to tighten the hell out of everything but truth is some drums do very well at lower tensions, some at high, some can do the whole range. Each has a sweet spot. A lot of learning can be gotten by just experimenting for an hour, figuring out your snare and its sounds. Most really crank the reso, but it need not be.

    Maybe you've seen this, but This may help, view the earlier episodes too on snares:
     
  2. lrod1707

    lrod1707 Well-Known Member

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    Good advice, Thank you!
     
  3. multijd

    multijd Very well Known Member

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    “Too tight” could mean too high pitched for the music or too much tension for the mechanics. The first is subjective. As far as damaging the drum, that may depend on the shell and lug construction and the number of lugs. Less lugs tuned higher puts more strain, possibly not as even, on the shell. Try tuning the top head to an “A” and the bottom head tight but where there is still a bit of give. Your thumb should be able to push in a bit. Make sure the tuning on all lugs is even, producing the same pitch.
     
  4. BennyK

    BennyK DFO Master

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    All meat and no potatoes is what I try to avoid .
     
  5. jptrickster

    jptrickster DFO Master

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    How we do it
     
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  6. Ray Dee Oh King

    Ray Dee Oh King Very well Known Member

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    Howd it work out for ya?
     
  7. swarfrat

    swarfrat tympanus laqueus XV

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    It just ain't right
     
  8. ncdrumr

    ncdrumr Well-Known Member

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  9. lrod1707

    lrod1707 Well-Known Member

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    Haven't had a chance to do it. I'm working till Sunday. I will try it out over the weekend and post the results.
     
  10. lrod1707

    lrod1707 Well-Known Member

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    Great info!
     
  11. xsabers

    xsabers World's Second Most Okayest Drummer

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    Ask Henri...
    toulouse_lautrec_henri.jpg
     
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  12. xsabers

    xsabers World's Second Most Okayest Drummer

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    Dan, your snares always sound great. If you have a minute, can you check one of your tunings using your Drum Dial and publish the numbers? I would like to try and replicate it and see how different it is from my current preferences. I'd be interested in the number at one of the tuning rods.
     
  13. BennyK

    BennyK DFO Master

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    Ideally the wires should be heard when mixing with the shell . This varies from drum to drum, but most of us land up sounding the same no matter what combination we use . Stick weight and where to put it is decisive especially when the player is an exclusive rimshot-ter . Ed Green , Al Jackson,Charlie Watts are examples of drummers who got the ultimate sound I prefer , no matter what drum they happened to be using .
     
  14. lrod1707

    lrod1707 Well-Known Member

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    I'd forgotten to post back. Your method works very well. I tried it on two drums to experiment. It actually got me very close to equal notes on each lug and the tension seems to be at a spot that sounds good. It's actually quicker and easier than the drum dial. Thanks for that!
     
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  15. rondrums51

    rondrums51 rondrums51

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    No disrespect, but do you actually think a Drum Dial is necessary? Use your ears. Incredibly, drummers tuned their drums and got a great sound for many decades before the Drum Dial was invented.
    Some drums like to be tuned tight; others don't. You don't need a Drum Dial to figure that out.
     
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  16. swarfrat

    swarfrat tympanus laqueus XV

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    Drummers who did this weren't learning from youtube and books, and had real live teachers in the room with them who taught them this stuff they forgot how they learned.
     
  17. lrod1707

    lrod1707 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's necessary but for me it gave me a starting point. I've been playing for 35 years but had a long break. I just started playing again 4 months ago after many years. After taking a break like that, you just don't pick up where you left off. I couldn't remember how to correctly tune and especially at what point (tension) I had to start at. So yes for some at least in the beginning, the drum dial/tunebot has a place. I think I'm getting past that and my ear is beginning to get the hang of it again so I will probably start relying on that.
     
  18. Nacci

    Nacci DFO Veteran

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    Regardless of tuning a snare needs to be comfortable to play, meaning it needs some give.
     
  19. lrod1707

    lrod1707 Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely correct. I've learned that now after reading the advice received. In order to get that tight sound out of my 13" Supralite that I wanted, I discovered that cranking the heck out of it is not necessary.
     
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  20. Houndog

    Houndog Very well Known Member

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    My 8x14 sounds awesome at 95 batter, I crank it til I can’t turn it anymore . Emporor X
     
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