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Choosing drum heads

Choosing drum heads

Jun 09, 2021

Your drum kit's sound can be hugely transformed by your choice of drum head. In fact for beginners before you rush out and upgrade to something swanky, you could achieve the sound you've been after with some careful head choice and a bit of tuning and dampening.

First, let's look at why most drums have a top and bottom drum head (known as the batter and resonant head respectively). The batter head provides the attack, that initial sound you hear when the drum is struck. The resonant head underneath provides the ring. Usually we would the two head to be pretty much the same tension otherwise you're going to get pitch bend.

Lets look at the three leading brands and their offerings when it comes to double ply heads:

Remo Pinstripe

These double ply heads provide a warm, muted thud that is great for lots of musical applications and is a great, cost effective way of improving your kit sound. They are also available in coated which is great for the snare if you're using brushes as the textured coating will enhance that swirl!

Evans EC2SCLR-R Clear

This is the Evans equivalent of the above set. Double ply heads, great for rock and this set even comes with a set of dampeners which controls any excessive overtones. Remember that drum heads are categorised based on their diameter in inches. A drum kit described as 'rock usually has the following dimensions: 22" kick, 12" hi tom, 13" medium tom, 14" or 16" floor tom. snare drums are usually 14". Fusion sizes are usually: 10", 12", 14", 14" snare and 20" kick drum.

Aquarian Performance 2

I played these for many years which massively improved the sound of the Yamaha Gigmaker kit I was using at the time

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