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10 quick drum tuning tips

How to tune your kit like a pro

Candle wax - the secret to tuning your kit like a pro? Read on to find out what the hell we're on about or, for an in-depth look, check out our tom, bass and snare drum tuning guides, all courtesy of Rhythm Magazine.

10 drum tuning tips

1. Use candle wax

Take the old head off. Wipe the dust and debris off the bearing edge. Wax the edge with a little candle wax for a tight seal.

2. Tension evenly

Ensure a new head is tensioned evenly, otherwise it will be pulled unequally, get distorted and you wont get a clean sound.

3. Use your fingers

Take up all the slack by turning the tension rod to 'finger tight' - when the head of the tuning rod makes contact with the metal rim.

4. One rod = one turn

Now increase tension by systematically applying a single turn to each rod, criss-crossing diagonally around the drum.

5. Use your fist!

Press down on the centre with your fist to make sure the head is properly stretched and 'seated'.


Next: crack, slack and fine tune

tuning

6. And wait for the 'crack'…

Continue until the head is board tight. The cracking sound is just the glue settling, and it's important to hear this.

7. Slack evenly

Now you can slacken the head back off - again take care to do this evenly

8. Fine tun

At last you're ready for fine tuning. Take the head back up, evenly all around - criss-crossing diagonally again.

9. One rod = one turn (again)

Make sure that each rod gets the same number of full, half or quarter turns.

10. Fine, fine tune

Tap lightly an inch so in from each tension rod. Make fine adjustments until the pitch is the same all around the head.

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For the best monthly drumming tips, video lessons and reviews, check out Rhythm Magazine.

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