“Seating” a new drum head

Posted: January 25, 2011 12:54 PM

bigbeat

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Does anyone seat their new drum heads? That is, tighten them beyond where you play them, and let them sit for 2-24 hours. Then release the tension & re-tune.

I’ve experimented with this & noticed two things:
1. The head stays in tune longer
2. The lowest pitch available isn’t as low as before the head was seated
I also question if the head lasts as long, but I’ve been switching brands & lines a lot, so that might just be that different heads last longer than others.  (This also could account for point 1.)

What do you think?

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Posted: January 25, 2011 04:48 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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I used to do that a lot, especially the night before a recording session. Just as you wrote, I did it to make the head stay in tune longer, but I also did it to achieve a “round” tone. I was under the impression that this procedure was necessary in order to fully break the glue, so that it wouldn’t slip and detune on its own during a performance. But I switched to Aquarian Texture Coated heads years ago and found that I didn’t need to mess around with elaborate head seating conventions anymore. Now I just mount a new head on the shell, tune it up to my desired tension, and play. It made quick changes at gigs so much easier and effective.

Keep in mind that I can’t officially endorse any drumhead companies — I buy my gear like everybody else.

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Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director, drummagazine.com

Posted: March 27, 2011 09:37 PM

Rev.D.

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I think it has to do with brand. Different brands need to be pre streched a little to sit properly and some come out of the box ready to go. I usually go with what works and dont pay attention to brand at all, so whatever is on sale is usually what works for me.

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A good drummer will sound good on anything. A Bad drummer will sound bad on anything.