Basic Drum Kit Tuning Equipment You Should Have

tuning toolsFinding the optimal sound of your drum set is usually the result of long work, you should not expect to finish tuning in five minutes.

The more work you are ready to put in, the better the result will be – and proper drumset tuning can make even cheaper sets sound like less professionally tuned master series drum sets. Tuning the bass drum is definitely not an easy task.

However, investing time in tuning the kick drum definitely pays off: a well-tuned bass drum can heavily influence the whole character of the drum set. In order to achieve a nice tune, you will need some tools to work with, most of them quite obvious, yet quite hard to choose properly.

Here are some essential bass drums tuning equipment that you will need in your arsenal.

The Resonant Head

I believe that heads give more to the character of the sound a drum produces than the actual shell, so my advice is that you should not feel sorry for a cent that you pay for your drum heads.

A major question that is never going to be decided definitely is that of the hole in the resonant head. It is absolutely a matter of choice, some peaceful people believe in not hurting the drum head, others go hippie without even installing a drum head.

The most common scenario, however, is that of cutting a hole of a few inches on the resonant head. Smaller heads do not remove too much from the role of the resonant heads to produce a 0 tone, yet they still give you the comfort of micing your bass drum quite easily.

In order to cut a hole in your resonant head you need something circular – a bowl or a smaller cymbal will do perfectly – and a sharp knife to cut the drum head.

The Batter Head

The batter head is the one on your side, the one that gets hit by the beater. It is the batter head that is mainly responsible for the character of the tone your bass drum produces.

It is common practice to tune your batter heads a few tones lower than your resonant heads. That means that the batter head should be looser than the resonant head. This practice results a bass drum producing a heavier, more powerful kick.

The Beater

The beater of your pedal can come in all sorts of materials. Most of the beaters nowadays are muffled with cloth, however, some are made of wood or plastic. These harder materials cause greater friction and can hurt your batter head after a while of usage, so you should be careful and install protection.

You can find such protecting products in drumming stores, also made from different materials, including cloth, plastic and Teflon. Just like with the hole in the resonant head, this is a matter of personal taste.

Dampening or Muffling

Dampening your bass drum can greatly affect its sound. For dampening, you can use a variety of materials, including pillows, cushions, rugs, and whatever you feel like gives your drum a proper sound. Muffling your bass drum is a good idea because it helps in removing extra overtones that are not part of the desired tone.

Just like with batter head protection, there is a professional solution for dampening, too. Drumming stores offer ready-made muffling sponge that can be easily set up. However, in my opinion these professional sponges do not offer much compared to muffling you can set up for free at home, and they usually cost quite a lot of money.

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