Having a decent set of drum heads on your kit can make the difference between good and bad sounding drums. If you are looking to change all of the heads on your drum kit then I advise that you perform your research beforehand.
There are a number of different forms of drum head available, and knowing the difference between all of the different types is very important.
In this article I’ll be explaining what you need to do in order to select the best drum head for what you’re doing. I’ll explain the difference between specific heads. This will give you a good idea of what to purchase when you change your heads.
Coated heads are most commonly used on snare drums. However many drummers decide to add them to their entire drum kits. This is very common in metal drumming and jazz drumming. Coasted drum skins are the best drum skins to use if you mainly play with brushes or hot rods.
Clear drum skins are definitely the most versatile. They can be used when playing any style of drumming. Clear drum skins have a much more sensitive rebound point than coated heads and are great for drummers that like to play fast drum fills around the kit.
Skins that are placed underneath the drums often get overlooked. Most people only think about the top heads when selecting a drum skin, however the bottom skins are what give the specific drum tone.
The bottom skins can be stretched to give the drummer shorter and longer sustain. The tighter the bottom, the quicker and punchier the sound will be. If the skin is loose then the sound of the drum will sustain for a longer period of time.
Changing a drum head isn’t nearly as complicated as some people may think. The only tool that you will need is a drum key. Once you have this you will be able to loosen all of the lugs on the drums so that the skins can be removed.
When you change a drum head you should always do up the lugs so that they are finger tight. Then you should place the palm of your hand on the centre of the skin and push down until the side crinkle. The lugs should then individually be tightened until the crinkles go away. A drum doesn’t have a set pitch that it should retain; it is all down to personal preference.
It’s generally recommended that the toms move from low to high pitch from the right to left, however you should always feel free to experiment if you want to try to make beats and fills sound different.
Having a good set of skins can make the difference between a good and bad kit. Whether you’re after clear skins or coated, always remember to tighten the bottom skins to the desired pitch. You should hit the skins along the way, with the aim of having a consistent tone throughout the entire drum.
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