Tuning Help

Posted: November 27, 2010 05:00 PM

bnsfnut

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Hello fellow drumers. I have a bass tom that echos way to much and it gets rather anoying. To stop this I’ve taped one of my thick lesson books on it, but this leaves me little room to hit it. I’ve tried to take a key to it but this only helps a little. Any advice is greatly appriciated.

     
Posted: November 27, 2010 05:57 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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Well, if you have resorted to taping a method book to your drumhead then it sounds like your bass drum is in serious need of maintenance. As far as I’m concerned, the biggest secret to drum tuning is to replace worn-out head with fresh heads – there’s no easier way to bring life to the sound of any drum. And if you decide to replace your bass drum batter head, I would recommend buying a head that has some sort of muffling system. This will take you at least part of the way toward controlling the unwanted resonance, or echo, of the drum. I personally would stay away from taping anything onto the batter head. I can’t imagine that technique would produce a very desirable bass drum sound. Instead, I would recommend that you experiment with deadening the sound with some kind of internal muffling device. You can buy a number of different ones in drum shops, but before you spend any money try stuffing something soft into the bass drum: a small pillow, towels, or packing blanket are commonly used. I use two small towels in my bass drum, and make sure that they are just barely touching the batter head whenever I set up for a gig. It may be that I like a bit more resonance in my bass drum sound than you do, however, so you should find the system that works best for your needs. Good luck!

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Posted: November 27, 2010 07:00 PM

bnsfnut

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I might not have been clear enough, but I mean the bass, or floor, tom with the legs. I suppose putting a sweatshirt in it would help some. Thanks very much for the reply.

Edit: It was sent in to fix it up about half a year ago.

Posted: December 16, 2010 04:30 PM

guarilio989

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in that case try new heads and check the bearing edge on the drum. some times the edge will get really beat up (no pun intended) and you’ll have to get the drum re-edged. this is pretty much worst case scenario but check them anyway. 10 to 1 you just need new heads. something i always liked to do as well is to cut a ring about one inch wide out of the old head so that it will fit on the batter side of the drum and just lay there. it helps a lot more than you’d think. plus if you don’t want it on because your gonna use some brushes or something like that, just take it off. cheap and easy. some people i talk to like moongel but i never found it useful. kinda pricey too.in any case, change the head, tune it properly, dampen accordingly. like butter smile

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Posted: December 22, 2010 11:23 PM

stylerprofyler

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learn to tune
moongel

if those fail, replace the heads
if that fails, buy a new drum!

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Posted: December 23, 2010 08:12 AM

bnsfnut

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Yeah, just bought a Pearl Forum Set. It’s used, but the preivious owner replaced all the heads with Evans G2s and had it tuned at the shop so it should sound wonderful.

How does that moongel stuff work? Rather curious.

Posted: December 23, 2010 09:20 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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It’s a soft and kind of sticky gel that you can cut into small pieces and affix to your drumhead to muffle it a little. It isn’t actually that much more effective than other kinds of muffling methods, but it is pretty easy to work with, and doesn’t leave any residue on the head like duct tape will.

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Posted: December 23, 2010 12:58 PM

stylerprofyler

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also, depending on how long you’ve had them, they may have fallen out of tune. i can’t keep a drum in tune for more than a week or two, and that’s usually pushing it before i feel obliged to retune everything.

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Posted: December 23, 2010 02:41 PM

bnsfnut

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What are some of the other ways to muffle them? Is there a way to achieve very little or no resonance at all?

Thanks for all the replys.

Posted: December 23, 2010 03:04 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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Sure, you can completely deaden the head with duct tape if that’s the sound you want (it’s not for me, but to each his/her own). A better alternative is a Dead Ringer, which is a ring of mylar that lays on top of the head and sits inside the hoop. You can find them (and similar knock offs) at your local music store. You can even make your own Dead Ringer by cutting as ring from a used head.

I hope you don’t mind me asking, but why do you want a completely dead sounding head? Personally, I don’t use any muffling on my heads — I love getting a big, resonant boom whenever I hit a tom and a ringy ping of overtones when I hit the snare.

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Posted: December 23, 2010 03:19 PM

bnsfnut

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There are a lot of songs I like to play, like With or With Out You, where I hit the floor tom the most. The song wouldn’t sound right with a resonance coming from it. Plus my music teacher doesn’t like the resonance when I play the Hey Song for pep-band.

Posted: December 25, 2010 08:35 AM

Warren Wright

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The Moon Gel will take care of the “ringing”...
by the way, do you happen to own a “Drum Dial”??  If you are planning on playing drums for any length of time, investing in one is an “excellent investment”.  The drum dial measures “drum head tension” ...most drummers place the dial about 3/4 of an inch from each tuning lug *the dial comes with an attachment that will keep the dial at that distance* .  You set the tension equal at each tuning lug…using the Criss Cross method.  Pick a lug…adjust it…go across the drum to the opposing lug and tension it…and go around the drum in this fashion till all are at equal tension…then slightly muffle the center of the drum with a folded up washcloth and then lightly tap the head about 3/4 inch from each lug to get the tone matched all round the head.  Tighter on the Batter and looser on the reso head gives you a lower pitch…reverse it and you get a higher pitch.  Or you can get them equal and even tune them to a particular musical note.  Any way you go…having a drum properly tuned with heads that arent “dead and beat up” is paramount to having a great sounding drum, no matter who the manufacturer is.

Personally, I use the Aquarian Focus-X coated heads on my Yamaha Oak Custom toms to get rid of the harmonic over-ring but still leaves a fair amount of “sustain”.  They also work well with the Maple, Birch, Ash, Bubinga and Mahogany woods. I have friends who use them on all of the afore mentioned drums.  You might try those heads. 

And to you and all the rest of the members here:  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL and To All a Good night~

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Posted: December 26, 2010 10:52 AM

bnsfnut

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I will have to look into one of those drum dials.

Posted: January 31, 2011 12:28 AM

Invictus138

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I recently got an Evans Torque drum key. It’s pretty cool, and works well for me. You just set the dial to the tension you want, and it clicks when it reaches it. Great for quick tuning.
I’ve used the Moongel pads before, they worked alright, but not as good as a good ‘ol fashioned ring stopper ring. Plus they get dirty real easy with stick shavings and loose they’re sticky. I play a Yamaha Oak custom too, and get a great tone from my toms using Evans EC2 clear heads, even without a ring stopper.

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Seven Kingdoms

Posted: March 27, 2011 09:24 PM

Rev.D.

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stylerprofyler - 22 December 2010 11:23 PM

learn to tune

Nothing can take the place of actualy learning to tune drums. It takes a lot of time and practice to turn it into an art and to be able to tune any kit, no matter how bad a shape its in and make it sound like a million bucks. If your a begginer, just keep practicing tuning and eventualy you will get good at it. Take time to get to know your floor tom and its tunning range by tuning it high, low and everywhere in betwwen and figure out where it it sounds best on its own, without having to over tighten, overly looseten, or even use muffling. Also, ask your music teacher for help.

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