Now you've got drums you'll need to learn to tune them!
Drum set tuning is the process of tensioning drumheads on a drum to produce a pleasing drum tone. A drummer tunes the drums using a drum key, a small, square socket-wrench that fits over the tension rods. Drum tuning styles and techniques vary between different drums, music genres and the preferences of drummers. In addition to tuning drums, drummers often treat drums with muffling material to alter the drum sound.
Tuning toms is the act of ensuring that the tensions on the individual batter and resonant heads on each drum are consistent and deliver a clear tone and the heads deliver the desired fundamental pitch when struck.
The relationships between the batter head and resonant head provide a sound character suitable for your intended use; and that the relationships between individual drums and the overall drumset provide a logical and pleasant sounding combination.
When tuning a drum, know that the top (batter) head controls attack and ring, while the bottom head controls resonance, sustain, overtones, and timbre.
The thin, sensitive bottom (resonant) head is generally tuned looser than the batter head. The resonant head tensioning is adjusted to allow the snares to sit into the snare beds; and treatment or muffling may be applied to the drum head to control overtones.
The resonant (front) head is usually looser than the batter head and is mainly responsible for the fundamental, audible tone of the drum;
The resonant head can have a small (approx 6") offset hole to allow for air pressure escape and for the insertion of a microphone;
Some drummers use some kind of treatment inside the drum (such as a pillow, towel, etc.) or one of the many head variations and appliqués to control overtones, this could be that a drummer fills up his kick drum with materials to absorb the sound, or that the batter head has a ring of foam on it or perhaps a kick pad placed on the batter head.
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