Hello everyone! This month I would like to talk about Drum Head Selection. There are so many varieties of heads for different applications and sounds that you are trying to achieve on your kit. Coated, clear, singly ply, two ply, thin, medium, thick, heavy duty, and dry. With so many choices, you may ask yourself, where do you start? Well, think about what sound you like. There may be a professional drummer whose sound is exactly what you’re looking for. Listen around and see what kind of configuarion of heads they use. Buy heads that sound good to you without having to add to them. There is a reason why the drum companies have spent money on research to give the drum more resonance. You too have spent more money on Kit A as opposed to Kit B for more resonance in the shells. By adding muffling: tape, foam, tone rings, etc. you are taking away the resonance that you paid extra money for. You are sitting behind 100% of the sound that is being produced by the kit, once you add all of the factors that will change and take away the resonance that your kit is producing, it is a different sound by the time it reaches the audience or even the sound man. Let the drums speak for themselves! That goes back to my point of buying heads that produce the sound you want without having to add to them.
A question that I get a lot is: How often should I change my heads? It really depends on how often you play and how hard. The snare head is one that I cange pretty regularly. You hit it the most. I generally will change tom heads as needed. If they are dented or can’t produce a nice round sound it’s time for a re-head. Another question that I get a lot is: Are the bottom heads the same as the top? The bottom head produces the note, tone, and resonance that your drum is creating, the top head is for feel and attack. In most cases Yes, they are two different heads. Generally the top will be thicker than the bottom unless you use the same head for top and bottom. Remember, tuning is key…but that’s another lesson on down the road.
Thanks again and keep the emails coming. If any of you have topics or issues that you’d like to see on V’s Drum Tip of the Month just email them to me here at the Drum Center of Lexington. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon,
Vince “V” Grino