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Drummer question

How do you tune your drums?

For example: I tune my bass drum (kick) to an E, my snare to an A, high tom to a D, low tom to an E, floor tom to an A. Anybody else do this? or do you just tune them until you like to way it sounds? I'm Just curious how others do things.
I like to have my drums in tune with the bass is why I tune mine this way. I like the way the deep sounds thump against each other.

Looking forward to some of the answers.

Peace, Tony


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,515Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    The kick I tune to a subsonic rumblethump with a pop in the high mids. Snare is tight with loose strands, Rings when you play at the rim, and a low thump to go with the crack, but no particular "note".

    Smallest tom tuned like a timbale, then a C, an A, an E, and either a low A or a G.

    Lots of songs have lots of C's or G's in them, and of course Rock songs often ride on an A or E. The C and G tend to go together.

    I do like to just tune until I get the best sound, but often I play with a 3-piece band, and riding a tom on an E or A can help to allow the guitarist to lay off the chords while he solos.
  • @highmtn Another question, When you record/mic your drums, do you ever have to re-tune them to get rid of unwanted rattles or hums due to the frequency of the drum hit itself?
    I ask because I was in a studio once, and the guy wanted me to re-do my whole tuning because of a hum we later discovered was from a floor tom, and we ended up just putting a piece of tape on it.

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,515Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Yes, that happens in the studio all the time. I've been in studios where the house drums are taped and blanketed like crazy, just because they want to get rid of all unwanted buzzes. And then the kick pedal and hihat will squeak.
  • CalwynCalwyn Posts: 42.0 ENROLLED
    Personally, I prefer to tune my drums so they sound nice in themselves rather than tuning to specific notes. It always seems to me that IF you've tuned your kit to a specific note, then it's possible for it to be out of key... especially on drums with a long sustain like the bigger toms.

  • I used to tune my drums the same way Calwyn. I then read somewhere about tuning them to specific notes, and some of the Drummers that also do this.

    I play mostly classic rock, and the majority of songs are in the key of E, and A.

    I noticed the difference right away. The way the sound of the drums were thumping with the bass was incredibly cleaner, and tighter.

    Yes you do have to keep checking the tuning, but it's like that with my other instruments too so it's not much of a bother.

    Peace, Tony
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