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How to Tune a Snare Drum 

 When starting to tune any snare, it’s a good idea to first clean off the bearing edges and counter hoops of the drum. As another initial point, it’s also important for you to listen to the head through all steps of the tuning process, so you can obtain a clear, focused sound and understand how your tuning progresses. 

 

Tuning a Drumset / Concert Snare 

When tuning a drumset snare, or any snare really, it’s best to have a tuning device to ensure pitch accuracy. Tuning with a device will not only ensure proper tuning, but it will also decrease damage caused by over-tightening. 

1. Mount the top head and finger-tighten all tension to equal tension. 


2. Using this sequential tuning method which aligns with the number of lugs on your drum, begin with ½ key-turns on each tension rod until the drum begins to resonate. Tap in front of each tension rod to ensure that it produces an identical clear tone.
















3. Seat the head by applying short bursts of pressure to the center of the head. After doing so, you may need to clear the head of overtones. 


4. Tune the head to pitch. Recommended batter head pitch:

         - 13x4 = B-D#
         - 14x4 = A-C
         - 14x5 = G#-B
         - 14x6.5 = G-A#
         - 14x8 = F#-B
         - 14x12 = E-G
         - 16x16 = A#-C# 

5. Recommended snare side head pitch is typically a perfect 4th or 5th higher than the top head. 


6. Fine-tune each head by lightly tapping the head near each tension rod. 

Turn on the snare strainer and slowly tighten the snares while striking the drum until a crisp snare response is achieved.  

 

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