How To Tune Your Snare Drum : Drums Etc Magazine Bonus Video

Hey guys!

This is a topic I find a lot of people, even experienced players have some trouble with! So this is a 12 minute video on how I do it. It’s got some bonus tricks and tips I’ve learned over the years and some demonstration on how I use moongel as well. With a cool little known fact about moongel vs microphones.

It’s meant as a bonus video for an article I have coming out in Drums Etc Magazine next month. But you can see it first

Dig!

~Aaron


146 Responses to “How To Tune Your Snare Drum : Drums Etc Magazine Bonus Video”

  1. [..YouTube..] That Snare looks amazing! πŸ™‚ Can I ask what finish is that? I’m planning to buy SQ2 and that finish would fit! πŸ™‚

  2. [..YouTube..] @MrEdwardStephens blue roots. see the video on this snare on aaron’s channel

  3. [..YouTube..] hey aaron i have issues with my snares making horrible buzzes when i strike the drum, does it have to do with the wires or the tuning of the heads?

  4. AlexLancia says:

    [..YouTube..] @allmetaliswelcome i recently had the same problem in the studio, its usually because of worn out resonant heads and snare wires. I’m going to try the rhtyhm tech active snares to see if that can create total snare wire isolation

  5. [..YouTube..] @MrEdwardStephens allmetaliswelcome is correct, it’s called Blue Roots! Unfortunately it’s not available πŸ™ You can get Walnut Roots, Dark Roots o Walnut Brown Burst as “roots” variations though! πŸ™‚

  6. [..YouTube..] @allmetaliswelcome Yessir!

  7. [..YouTube..] @allmetaliswelcome It’s a combination of both. Lower end wires tend to do that more and the closer your tuning is to other drums (mostly the toms right next to it) the more it’s going to have a sympathetic vibration while the’re being played.

    Try tuning your snare much different than everything else. Maybe tighten your wires a little, or even cut some of them off. Gavin Harrison leaves only the middle eight strands. Whereas other companies use the outer four on each side cutting out the middle

  8. aaronedgardrum says:

    @allmetaliswelcome It’s a combination of both. Lower end wires tend to do
    that more and the closer your tuning is to other drums (mostly the toms
    right next to it) the more it’s going to have a sympathetic vibration while
    the’re being played. Try tuning your snare much different than everything
    else. Maybe tighten your wires a little, or even cut some of them off.
    Gavin Harrison leaves only the middle eight strands. Whereas other
    companies use the outer four on each side cutting out the middle

  9. [..YouTube..] @aaronedgardrum each option is intended to reduce sympathetic vibration. I’ve tried both, they both seem to work pretty well.

    You can also get wires specifically meant to cut that down. The puresound “Twisted” set is supposed to do this. πŸ™‚

    It’ll still vibrate of course, it has to or it wouldn’t sound like a snare. Just less. A tighter sound.

  10. [..YouTube..] @aaronedgardrum not the toms, it happens when i strike the SNARE!

  11. [..YouTube..] @allmetaliswelcome Ooooh I misread that, sorry man! AlexLancia has some great advice in his comment there! It sounds to me like a tuning/head or wire issue. New bottom head and higher end wires would make a world of difference.

    If it’s REALLY ugly, try pitching your bottom head up quite a bit (and then tensioning your wires up as a result). The buzz you get from your wires should be pleasing and crisp, not ugly or boingy sounding.

    It also might be that the wires are too tight and they choke

  12. SONORSQ2guy says:

    [..YouTube..] Great video. I have the Evans drill bit key as well, it’s essential especially with Sonor snare drums, which take forever with a standard drum key. As always, very informative video Aaron

  13. [..YouTube..] @SONORSQ2guy Thanks brutha! πŸ™‚ Tunesafe, I love it, but it’s a pain for swapping heads!

  14. aaronedgardrum says:

    @SONORSQ2guy Thanks brutha! πŸ™‚ Tunesafe, I love it, but it’s a pain for
    swapping heads!

  15. cnowosad says:

    [..YouTube..] Great video my friend! What’s that stack on your right?
    Also do you tune down your bottom head at all? I find when I’m going for that doofy sound I sometimes can’t get it without tuning down the bottom head…

  16. [..YouTube..] @cnowosad Thanks man! The stack is a 24 and 21″ Hammerax HellBell Crash on top of each other.

    For these videos I didn’t touch the bottom head. None of the tunings in this video or the 14×7 Ascent Snare video I did anything with the bottom other than adjusting the wire tension.

    I’m probably going to do another video on the bottom head.

  17. TheDrummerAK says:

    [..YouTube..] Hey nice video! im from the drum forum as well. when i tune, i always find myself tapping near the edge with my drum key and even though i was told not to do it, i did it anyways. but when it came time to switch heads, i found all these small little dents around the edge (mostly on the reso side) when i took the heads off. im trying not to use the key to tap anymore

  18. [..YouTube..] @TheDrummerAK Thanks man! Yes, the snare side head will for sure have tiny little dents from doing it with your drum key. I use either a mallet or my fingers on the bottom head to prevent that! It doesn’t really do it on the batter head, unless you’re really digging in I suppose! haha πŸ˜›

  19. axedstoninst says:

    [..YouTube..] Thanks to you, my snare now sounds like orgasm!

  20. RoanRash says:

    [..YouTube..] Great Video Aaron thanks!!! Very similar to my technique

  21. [..YouTube..] @axedstoninst Shweeeeeeet!! πŸ˜€ *spooge*

  22. [..YouTube..] @RoanRash Awesome man, thanks!

  23. TheYonderGod says:

    [..YouTube..] This is probably the most helpful video I’ve watched for tuning, thanks!

  24. [..YouTube..] @TheYonderGod Awesome!! πŸ˜€ I’m glad you can use it πŸ™‚

  25. aaronedgardrum says:

    @TheYonderGod Awesome!! πŸ˜€ I’m glad you can use it πŸ™‚

  26. Ankylophobia says:

    [..YouTube..] the low tuning at 9:05. i came. i LOVE a big fat ringy snare. this was suuuuch a helpful video dude!

  27. Ankylophobia says:

    the low tuning at 9:05. i came. i LOVE a big fat ringy snare. this was
    suuuuch a helpful video dude!

  28. [..YouTube..] @Ankylophobia Awesome!! I’m always really pumped when my videos actually help people πŸ™‚

  29. datommaster says:

    [..YouTube..] 10:59
    dubstep cymbal

  30. DrMorbid says:

    [..YouTube..] Great. Liked the last tip for uber-fat snare. Never heard of that. Interesting… thanks.

  31. [..YouTube..] @datommaster Hell yeah! That’s called a Hammerax 22″ Boomywang Nano! Check out my videos “The BoomyBlast HD” and “DJ Boomywang” To hear some more of that guy πŸ˜€

  32. [..YouTube..] @DrMorbid Thanks man! You can thank Benny Greb for that little tidbit! It’s killer for live. You can change the sound of your snare with just three lugs on the fly really fast!

  33. aaronedgardrum says:

    @DrMorbid Thanks man! You can thank Benny Greb for that little tidbit! It’s
    killer for live. You can change the sound of your snare with just three
    lugs on the fly really fast!

  34. [..YouTube..] With out a doubt the most helpful tuning vid. I could never get my 13×7 to sound the way I wanted it too, but now ill think ill give 9:05 a shot.

  35. [..YouTube..] @BurnThePope0514 Awesome man!!! I’m always genuinely SO stoked when my videos actually help people. πŸ™‚ I hope you get your snare sounding exactly how you want it πŸ˜€

  36. [..YouTube..] @aaronedgardrum Head choice plays a huge role too. For that kind of sound on a deep thirteen, I’d suggest a single ply with some attitude like a coated GPlus or something similar. If you’re a Remo guy the Rennaisance Ambassador does WONDERS on my old 13×7 3007 (Select Force) which is a 5.8mm maple shell.

  37. [..YouTube..] I’ll check those out and I’m a all kinds of guy. Don’t stick to one brand for any of my gear

  38. [..YouTube..] @BurnThePope0514 Badass man! πŸ™‚

  39. [..YouTube..] Hey Aaron, could you possibly recommend a snare skin for me? I want something that has a lot of attack and sounds good when tuned up really tight. I play a 14 x 6 ddrum ash snare, and so far the only skin iv liked is the Evans HD, is there anything that would sound better?

  40. [..YouTube..] this actually helped me a ton! thanks!

  41. [..YouTube..] @TheAfterlifesk8team Sweet man! Glad to help !:)

  42. [..YouTube..] Sweet man! Glad to help !:)

  43. [..YouTube..] @NateDaDrummzer Hey man! What exactly did you like about the HD? Are you wanting something dry, ringy, still with some serious spank? I’m not honestly familiar with the Ash wood.

    I’d suggest maybe trying the HD “Dry” version, or a GPlus, but that’s without really knowing the situation.

    Is there any way you can get me a sound file of it and describe to me in a little more detail your ideal snare sound?

  44. [..YouTube..] Hey man! What exactly did you like about the HD? Are you wanting something dry, ringy, still with some serious spank? I’m not honestly familiar with the Ash wood.

    I’d suggest maybe trying the HD “Dry” version, or a GPlus, but that’s without really knowing the situation.

    Is there any way you can get me a sound file of it and describe to me in a little more detail your ideal snare sound?

  45. aaronedgardrum says:

    @NateDaDrummzer Hey man! What exactly did you like about the HD? Are you
    wanting something dry, ringy, still with some serious spank? I’m not
    honestly familiar with the Ash wood. I’d suggest maybe trying the HD “Dry”
    version, or a GPlus, but that’s without really knowing the situation. Is
    there any way you can get me a sound file of it and describe to me in a
    little more detail your ideal snare sound?

  46. [..YouTube..] @aaronedgardrum Yeah of course! Ill have to send one to you tomorrow however being that its Christmas and my family would murder me if i started playing. Ill send it all in a video so i can describe it better.

  47. [..YouTube..] Yeah of course! Ill have to send one to you tomorrow however being that its Christmas and my family would murder me if i started playing. Ill send it all in a video so i can describe it better.

  48. [..YouTube..] @NateDaDrummzer Awesome! Lookin’ forward to it! Have a great Christmas… and try not to get murdered πŸ˜‰

  49. [..YouTube..] Awesome! Lookin’ forward to it! Have a great Christmas… and try not to get murdered πŸ˜‰

  50. [..YouTube..] @aaronedgardrum Haha ill do my best! Merry Christmas!

  51. [..YouTube..] Haha ill do my best! Merry Christmas!

  52. NateDaDrummzer says:

    Haha ill do my best! Merry Christmas!

  53. [..YouTube..] @NateDaDrummzer thanks! lol πŸ˜›

  54. [..YouTube..] thanks! lol πŸ˜›

  55. aaronedgardrum says:

    thanks! lol πŸ˜›

  56. deathwurst says:

    [..YouTube..] helpful episode thanxx-mas

  57. deathwurst says:

    helpful episode thanxx-mas

  58. [..YouTube..] @deathwurst I’m glad it’s helpful ! πŸ™‚

  59. [..YouTube..] I’m glad it’s helpful ! πŸ™‚

  60. aaronedgardrum says:

    I’m glad it’s helpful ! πŸ™‚

  61. [..YouTube..] Would you use this same technique for toms? How about bass drums? Thanks!

  62. drumfluffable says:

    Would you use this same technique for toms? How about bass drums? Thanks!

  63. [..YouTube..] @drumfluffable The basic principals are the same, but the overall sounds and tensions we’re looking for are different.

    I’m planning to do tom, kick and snare side head videos as well. πŸ™‚

  64. [..YouTube..] The basic principals are the same, but the overall sounds and tensions we’re looking for are different.

    I’m planning to do tom, kick and snare side head videos as well. πŸ™‚

  65. aaronedgardrum says:

    The basic principals are the same, but the overall sounds and tensions we’re looking for are different.

    I’m planning to do tom, kick and snare side head videos as well. πŸ™‚

  66. [..YouTube..] Very cool video, informative and entertaining! You’re doing a great job,
    and your playing is awesome, too!

  67. mrspitzdrummer says:

    Very cool video, informative and entertaining! You’re doing a great job,
    and your playing is awesome, too!

  68. [..YouTube..] @mrspitzdrummer Thanks a lot!! Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  69. [..YouTube..] Thanks a lot!! Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  70. aaronedgardrum says:

    Thanks a lot!! Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  71. ronied125 says:

    [..YouTube..] Good stufff man! Found this video from your post on the PDF πŸ™‚

  72. ronied125 says:

    Good stufff man! Found this video from your post on the PDF πŸ™‚

  73. [..YouTube..] @ronied125 Awesome! Thanks man πŸ™‚

  74. [..YouTube..] Awesome! Thanks man πŸ™‚

  75. aaronedgardrum says:

    Awesome! Thanks man πŸ™‚

  76. 1978drums says:

    [..YouTube..] Thanx for these tips. dig your video’s.

  77. 1978drums says:

    Thanx for these tips. dig your video’s.

  78. [..YouTube..] @1978drums No problem man! Thanks for watching πŸ™‚

  79. [..YouTube..] No problem man! Thanks for watching πŸ™‚

  80. aaronedgardrum says:

    No problem man! Thanks for watching πŸ™‚

  81. 872andy872 says:

    [..YouTube..] I find it a bit humorous that you’re using pearl drum keys

  82. 872andy872 says:

    I find it a bit humorous that you’re using pearl drum keys

  83. [..YouTube..] @872andy872 haha I used to use pearl WAY back in the day before I could afford Sonor. I just got used to how they feel in my hands πŸ˜›

  84. [..YouTube..] haha I used to use pearl WAY back in the day before I could afford Sonor. I just got used to how they feel in my hands πŸ˜›

  85. aaronedgardrum says:

    haha I used to use pearl WAY back in the day before I could afford Sonor. I just got used to how they feel in my hands πŸ˜›

  86. [..YouTube..] Damn, thanx for the info. All is so well explained.

  87. PremierFourSale says:

    Damn, thanx for the info. All is so well explained.

  88. [..YouTube..] @PremierFourSale No prob man! I’m glad it works for you!

  89. [..YouTube..] No prob man! I’m glad it works for you!

  90. aaronedgardrum says:

    No prob man! I’m glad it works for you!

  91. reddieseled says:

    [..YouTube..] i like the jump 2 technique, but don’t tap the edge with your key, you’ll chew up the bearing edge. TRUST ME!

  92. reddieseled says:

    i like the jump 2 technique, but don’t tap the edge with your key, you’ll chew up the bearing edge. TRUST ME!

  93. [..YouTube..] @reddieseled oh dear lord man, never ON the edge! I meant the edge of the head about an inch AWAY from the bearing edge. Did I not specify that?! Shit!

  94. [..YouTube..] oh dear lord man, never ON the edge! I meant the edge of the head about an inch AWAY from the bearing edge. Did I not specify that?! Shit!

  95. aaronedgardrum says:

    oh dear lord man, never ON the edge! I meant the edge of the head about an inch AWAY from the bearing edge. Did I not specify that?! Shit!

  96. reddieseled says:

    [..YouTube..] @aaronedgardrum Even if you’re an inch away, one of those stray hits will put a ding in there. My most recent kit has little indents near the farthest lugs on the floor tom, go figure. I like using my finger or a pencil because the drum key distorts the head a little when it hits.

  97. reddieseled says:

    [..YouTube..] Even if you’re an inch away, one of those stray hits will put a ding in there. My most recent kit has little indents near the farthest lugs on the floor tom, go figure. I like using my finger or a pencil because the drum key distorts the head a little when it hits.

  98. reddieseled says:

    [..YouTube..] Even if you’re an inch away, one of those stray hits will put a ding in there. My most recent kit has little indents near the farthest lugs on the floor tom, go figure. I like using my finger or a pencil because the drum key distorts the head a little when it hits.

  99. reddieseled says:

    Even if you’re an inch away, one of those stray hits will put a ding in there. My most recent kit has little indents near the farthest lugs on the floor tom, go figure. I like using my finger or a pencil because the drum key distorts the head a little when it hits.

  100. [..YouTube..] @reddieseled That’s true man, that’s why you’ve gotta be careful! Steve Smith uses mallets so there’s less attack when tuning. It’s great and works awesome,but I’m far too lazy for that lol. I’ve never hit an edge and am SUUUUUPER anal about that shit, I’m paranoid in every situation about those. Which is why I switched to S-Hoops actually. Those, by the way sound INCREDIBLE. You should check them out!

  101. [..YouTube..] That’s true man, that’s why you’ve gotta be careful! Steve Smith uses mallets so there’s less attack when tuning. It’s great and works awesome,but I’m far too lazy for that lol. I’ve never hit an edge and am SUUUUUPER anal about that shit, I’m paranoid in every situation about those. Which is why I switched to S-Hoops actually. Those, by the way sound INCREDIBLE. You should check them out!

  102. aaronedgardrum says:

    That’s true man, that’s why you’ve gotta be careful! Steve Smith uses mallets so there’s less attack when tuning. It’s great and works awesome,but I’m far too lazy for that lol. I’ve never hit an edge and am SUUUUUPER anal about that shit, I’m paranoid in every situation about those. Which is why I switched to S-Hoops actually. Those, by the way sound INCREDIBLE. You should check them out!

  103. martybmurphy says:

    [..YouTube..] Great Video – Curious how much tighter you tune the Bottom head than the top head? You have a note you tune to or ever use a Drum Dial? Thanks!

  104. martybmurphy says:

    [..YouTube..] Great Video – Curious how much tighter you tune the Bottom head than the top head? You have a note you tune to or ever use a Drum Dial? Thanks!

  105. martybmurphy says:

    Great Video – Curious how much tighter you tune the Bottom head than the top head? You have a note you tune to or ever use a Drum Dial? Thanks!

  106. [..YouTube..] Hey man, first up, thank you! In this video the bottom head would be a little higher for sure. Not like railed tight or anything kinda medium-tight. I don’t use a specific note and have never tried a drum dial. Honestly, my snare side head pitch is entirely intuitive, I’ve never put much thought into it, whenever I tune it up, generally where I pitch the bottom head in the first place just sounds great and I never have to mess with it lol

  107. aaronedgardrum says:

    Hey man, first up, thank you! In this video the bottom head would be a little higher for sure. Not like railed tight or anything kinda medium-tight. I don’t use a specific note and have never tried a drum dial. Honestly, my snare side head pitch is entirely intuitive, I’ve never put much thought into it, whenever I tune it up, generally where I pitch the bottom head in the first place just sounds great and I never have to mess with it lol

  108. polskpojjkeh says:

    [..YouTube..] Well, that’s what notifications are on youtube for πŸ™‚

  109. polskpojjkeh says:

    Well, that’s what notifications are on youtube for πŸ™‚

  110. [..YouTube..] As Aaron said, it’s all about intuition, and trial and error really has to be your friend when learning to tune drums, but I was having trouble with my snare not long ago and saw a vid where the guy said he’d got a tip from Dave Weckl that was essentially, if something’s wrong and you can’t figure it out/nothing seems to work, try cranking the snare side head, and I mean /really/ crank it. I tried it and it really worked wonders, but again, it’s not always the same, and trial and error is good..

  111. metalmanky306 says:

    As Aaron said, it’s all about intuition, and trial and error really has to be your friend when learning to tune drums, but I was having trouble with my snare not long ago and saw a vid where the guy said he’d got a tip from Dave Weckl that was essentially, if something’s wrong and you can’t figure it out/nothing seems to work, try cranking the snare side head, and I mean /really/ crank it. I tried it and it really worked wonders, but again, it’s not always the same, and trial and error is good..

  112. [..YouTube..] hey man, I just finished doing a video like your snare drum tuning video, I was wondering if you liked it, and thought it was good. also, it’s a sort of review/sound test for the evans EC2 heads so it’s not only based on the tuning.

  113. [..YouTube..] hey man, I just finished doing a video like your snare drum tuning video, I was wondering if you liked it, and thought it was good. also, it’s a sort of review/sound test for the evans EC2 heads so it’s not only based on the tuning.

  114. Calvin Bakelaar says:

    hey man, I just finished doing a video like your snare drum tuning video, I was wondering if you liked it, and thought it was good. also, it’s a sort of review/sound test for the evans EC2 heads so it’s not only based on the tuning.

  115. [..YouTube..] Oh, badass man! I’m gonna watch it right now! For sure approved. πŸ™‚

  116. aaronedgardrum says:

    Oh, badass man! I’m gonna watch it right now! For sure approved. πŸ™‚

  117. normandycg60 says:

    I love a deep fat sound but with the 8×14 I just built I am having a lot of trouble getting a deep fat sound without the wires ringing/sizzling a lot after each hit (I rimshot a lot and I’m using 24 strand puresounds and Remo emporer X top Ambassador snare side bottom if that says anything?) and the only way to get the snares to stop ringing is to tune it up super tight like a Travis Barker sound, Any tips?

    For sound i’m wanting pleas reference: The Maine – Inside of you.

  118. XJordanx89 says:

    can you tune my drums please lol

  119. aaronedgardrum says:

    hahah you probably don’t live anywhere near me πŸ˜›

  120. XJordanx89 says:

    πŸ™ from las vegas

  121. aaronedgardrum says:

    Yaaa that’s pretty far πŸ˜›

  122. Tom Ward says:

    This is exactly the snare sound I have been looking for. Your video concisely demonstrates a tuning method to obtain a serious “pwack/pop” sound by holding a medium tension on the res through various tensions on the batter with moon gel to manage overtones…perfect…Thanks,Tom

  123. Austin Aubry says:

    My snare drum has a weird resonance with the wires. Anyone know how to fix that?

  124. SimenNaess says:

    You should make a video on tuning toms, Aaron!

  125. jay williams says:

    great video! have you ever tried a mapex saturn birch/walnut snare? i cant tune mine for shit!!! πŸ™

  126. Π•Π²Π³Π΅Π½ΠΈΠΉ Π§ΡƒΡ€Π±Π°Π½ΠΎΠ² says:

    You did not show how you tune the bottom heat (what pitch?)

  127. Π•Π²Π³Π΅Π½ΠΈΠΉ Π§ΡƒΡ€Π±Π°Π½ΠΎΠ² says:

    Well, you are intuitive, but what pitch is it this time? There would be no such question if you have shown the process in the video.

  128. Nicolas Lombardini says:

    incredible

  129. McKinley Calloway says:

    Could you go over dampening methods and getting a good sound out of a steel shelled snare?

  130. Daniel Cheatum says:

    can you tune my snare like yours

  131. Seth6581 says:

    You made that snare POP!

  132. drumkitguy says:

    Great info!

    On my main snare, I play a med-tight Fiberskyn 3 or Coated Ambassador so I’m not familiar with 2 ply heads on low tuned snares. Which Remo coated heads produce the lowest pitch for a gushy/70s/aux. snare?

    I recently bought a maple 6.5×14. Paired with the right head & some Moongels, it should be able to produce a thick/doof/remix sound.

    Let me know what experience you have with low tuned Powerstroke 4, Emperor X, Powerstroke X, or others. Thank you

  133. runingblackbear says:

    you tune your drums in the key of ( E )

  134. aaronedgardrum says:

    Thanks Tom! πŸ™‚ Stoked I could help!

  135. Maxley Medestomas says:

    what snare is the video?

  136. MasterHelwig says:

    Great Video

  137. Darin Warren says:

    Woah. I thought I wanted my snare tuned really high, until I heard this tuned way down.

  138. chickenbeforeegg says:

    BENNY GREB YEAH BUDDY

  139. Zilnich P. says:

    So I take it just a small amount of that inner ringing sound is good,when
    tuned higher?

  140. Jonas Butler says:

    Thanks, Aaron! I’m a drummer of 20 years, but I never realized how the
    placement of the moongel affects the recorded sound. Very cool.

  141. Kevin Jorrey says:

    Definitely don’t tap the drum with the drum key. Metal on that surface will
    not only dent the drum head, but it will eventually dig in to the wood and
    baring edge of the drum. Very bad way of tapping the drum. Everything else
    looks like good advice.

  142. Jude Games says:

    Awesome video to find! I like your videos. Nice to find them amongst the
    tons out there and knowing they’re close to home.
    I liked the mallet tip.

  143. Dennis B. says:

    the moongel placement in relation to the mic is interesting. didnΒ΄t know
    that has an influence. nice vid aaron!

  144. Matthew Brisbois says:

    I just got a DW performance series snare, I tuned it, and play in my
    garage with a carpet underneath at the farthest point away from the garage
    door. It was fairly expensive yet it sounds really loud and not articulate.
    Like when I do a rim shot it comes out overbearingly loud and has an
    obnoxious ring, is this normal? I have stock heads and no moon gel or
    rings. Also is it just where I play?

  145. todd allen says:

    awesome tip nice snare

  146. fluzzy Bangbuzz says:

    i luv that high pitch sounds!