Rhythm Top Ten Tips: Tuning your kit (part 2)

More from the world of tuning this week with the second part of our guide to tuning your kit like a pro…

1. It makes things easier to get the tuning right if you always tune up to the note than down to the note

2. Use a method like guitarists. Quickly dip below the note an then zip back up to it so you hear the note rise to the required pitch

3. Put your finger lightly on the centre of the head to dampen the overtones and you´ll hear the pitch better

4. Write numbers around the edge of the head next to the tuning rods to make the order of tuning easier, particularly on a 10-lug drum

5. Most drummers tend to tune the bottom resonant head first

6. Many drummers say they tune the bottom head for tone and the top head for feel

7. There are three tuning possibilities: top and bottom same pitch; bottom head higher; bottom head lower

8. Some drummers claim that tuning the bottom head of your toms a little higher than the top increases projection

9. When you have got the heads evenly tuned, try tuning down one of the tension rods by a quarter turn for a funkier sound

10. This should reduce the decay of the drum making it a more controlled sound. It may also eliminate troublesome overtones

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.