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Sometimes the drum still doesn't sound right even after it's tuned. Here are some tuning tips and tricks from Ross Garfield, the famous drum Doctor that can help you get your drums and cymbals sounding great quickly and easily. The snare is probably the most important drum in the kit because you hear it on at least every two and four, that's why it's important to get the snare tuned first. If the snare drum has too much ring or decay tune the heads lower, use a heavier head like a coated Remo Emperor. Use a full or partial muffling ring.
You can also add some tape or moon gel or even a wallet. If the snare drum doesn't have enough ring or decay, tune the head higher. Use a thinner head like a coated Remo Ambassador or Diplomat. If the snares buzz when the toms are hit, check that the snares are straight, replace as needed. Check that the snares are flat and centered on the drum. Loosen the bottom head. Re-tune the offending toms. Use an alternate snare drum.
If the kick drum isn't punchy and lacks power when played in the context of the music, you can try the following. Try increasing or decreasing the amount of muffling in the drum, change to a heavier uncoated head like a clear Remo Emperor or PowerStroke 3. Change to a thinner front head or one with a larger cutout. If one or more of the toms are difficult to tune, don't blend well together or have an unwanted growl try the following. Check the top heads for dents and replace as necessary.
Check the evenness of tension all around on the top and bottom heads, tighten the bottom head. If the floor tom has an undesirable basketball type after ring, try this. Loosen the bottom head. Check the top heads for dents and replace as necessary. Loosen the top head, switch to a different type or weight top or bottom head, like a clear Ambassador or Emperor. The drum Doctor has tune the drums for a host of superstar drummers on some of their most famous albums, so he knows what he's talking about, check him out at drumdoctors.com.
So those are some of the tips and tricks for tuning your drums. Keep in mind that even the most expert drum tuner still takes a fair amount of time to get a kit record ready, so don't think this can all be done in 15 minutes. It takes time, some practice, and some really good drums to start with. (music playing)
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