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Thread: How do you tune your toms?

  1. #1

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    Default How do you tune your toms?

    As the title asks: How do you tune your toms?
    I tap the side of the shell to get the tone of the shell and then tune the heads to that tune.

    My friend Zane tunes his toms really low and dead sounding, with like a pound of duck tape on each head.

    Feedback?
    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    My set: Sonor Force 2003 Fusion Kit. 16" B8 Thin Crash, 20" B8 Ride, 16" Wuhan China, 14" B8 hi-hats, 10" AAX Splash
    PDP Double bass Pedal, PDP throne.

  2. #2

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    I try to turn each lug evenly tapping on the head near the lug and tightening until I hear no ringing and a pitch that sounds like the other lugs. It's hard to say cause I usually have an idea of the pitch I expect the tom to have, but I do want the head somewhat tight. I don't like tape all over my heads and if need be usually tape a piece of flannel in one corner for muffling.

    To me drumming on flat, loose, flat heads is like running on sand.
    Last edited by CyberComa; 03-02-2007 at 09:04 AM.
    Serve The Song, Not The Ego - NEP

  3. #3

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    Okay, that sounds a lot better than my friend's method: tune it as low and dead as you can! lol

    Keep the posts coming!
    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    My set: Sonor Force 2003 Fusion Kit. 16" B8 Thin Crash, 20" B8 Ride, 16" Wuhan China, 14" B8 hi-hats, 10" AAX Splash
    PDP Double bass Pedal, PDP throne.

  4. #4

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    Well as do you.

    I have problems tuning my toms, because I don't that thick resonant classic rock sound. I enjoy the more modern sound, hard but quick. So I tune them normally as best as I can, with the method above, and then I use Remo Muff'l Rings on all of them. They make the sound 10000x better, also they are a big help to make you drums sound more professional if you don't have like a DW or high quality Pearl Kit.

    If you are having troubles tuning your toms go with those. They are a dream.
    MY KIT: 5 Piece Westbury, Remo Ambassador Heads and Remo Muff'l Rings on all drums, Sabian AA 20" Metal-X Ride, Zildjian ZXT 16" Rock Crash, Pearl 14" Hats, Pearl 18" Crash Ride, Wuhan 12" China

    Band Website:

    The Torpedo Identity

    http://www.myspace.com/thetorpedoidentity
    http://www.purevolume.com/blacksunn

  5. #5

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    to tune my toms I typically start with the resonance head and finger tight all the lugs 2 times. Next i put my knee on the rim and use my weight to break the glue seal on the heads and refinger tighten 2 times around the drum again or more if there is still more give. After this is finished i give each lug a half turn. I check the tuning of the drum to itself, tweak it so its in tune then repeat with the batter heads using a quarter turn instead of a half turn. This gives you a nice low tone that is uberfat and sweet. Each person has their own preference though, i prefer my resonant heads tighter then my batter though. For my kit it really opens up the toms and gives killer tone. Also move in a star pattern or X pattern while tightening lugs after fingertightening. Hope this helps :O)

  6. #6

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    My stepdad does something like that, but only to the kick drum. He calls it setting the head.
    He presses really hard on the head while its sitting on the edge of the shell(before he buts the loop on it). It helps you keep it in tune longer.
    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    My set: Sonor Force 2003 Fusion Kit. 16" B8 Thin Crash, 20" B8 Ride, 16" Wuhan China, 14" B8 hi-hats, 10" AAX Splash
    PDP Double bass Pedal, PDP throne.

  7. #7

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    I'm using a Drum Dial now to tune my drums. I tune a little bit lower than they suggest, and I also use Evans E-rings. They sound great!
    Da' Bum
    Rockin' the beat for fadedblue
    Slappin' the skins for Willow Tree
    Kickin' the bass for Olde Youth
    http://www.facebook.com/fadedbluemusic
    http://www.facebook.com/willowtreebandpdx
    DW Performance 5 pc. in White Marine Pearl
    Pearl ELX 7 pc. in Black Burst
    1972 Pearl Deluxe Custom 5 pc. in blue sparkle
    KAT KT-3

  8. #8

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    Do those Drum Dials work any good?
    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    My set: Sonor Force 2003 Fusion Kit. 16" B8 Thin Crash, 20" B8 Ride, 16" Wuhan China, 14" B8 hi-hats, 10" AAX Splash
    PDP Double bass Pedal, PDP throne.

  9. #9

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    Oh yeah! Check out the thread on them.
    Da' Bum
    Rockin' the beat for fadedblue
    Slappin' the skins for Willow Tree
    Kickin' the bass for Olde Youth
    http://www.facebook.com/fadedbluemusic
    http://www.facebook.com/willowtreebandpdx
    DW Performance 5 pc. in White Marine Pearl
    Pearl ELX 7 pc. in Black Burst
    1972 Pearl Deluxe Custom 5 pc. in blue sparkle
    KAT KT-3

  10. #10

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    for rock, funk and fusion...i tune my batters pretty low, just a turn and a half or so past a wrinke, each lug at the same note. reso heads one 3rd above that. gives me a full resonant, cutting wet tone. it is pretty much the way i learned from a dave weckl clinic in the late 80s. and on his back to basics video.
    for jazz i tune the batters higher and the reso tuned to the same pitch.

  11. #11

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    make sure you seat your heads correctly aswell, by applying pressure to the center of the head untill it quits crackling (while it is on the drum). then put the rim on and tune.

  12. #12

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    Funky - I seat my batter heads, but realised I've never seated resonant heads. Do you seat these as well?

  13. #13

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    yep.

  14. #14

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    Well I am probably to late, but I will throw my opinion out there anyway.

    TOMS
    I use Evans G2 heads on my toms, simply because I love the sound they produce, I start with the batter head or top head and push down just slightly in the middle, then in a criss cross motion I tighten the lugs until the wrinkles are gone, then I do a tap test along each lug to make sure they are all in tone with eachother, after all the lugs are tone matched, then I find the desired tone by increasing or decreasing the lugs a 1/4 turn at a time.

    I repeat this for the resonant head, and tune it the same pitch as the batter head, this in my opinion give a full resonant tone.

    KICK
    I use Evans EMAD with the large ring on the batter side, and again put my finger in the middle and tighten head just until the wrinkles are gone, tone match the lugs, and tune to desired pitch or depth.
    I use just the 2 ply head that came with my kit on the resonant head, I tune it exactly like the batter head, and throw in a small sheet, to just barely rest against the heads, thunderous baby I love my kick drum sound, very deep and resonant with lots of punch.

    SNARE
    Evans Power center on the batter head, cranked up alot, after performing the above method first, about 5-6 full turns, same with the bottom head, snares I tighten all the way up, then 1-1/4 turn back, gives a little more snare response, so I get that super poppy, snappy sound, that will cut thru anything.

    So there is my take and how I tune my drums, hope this helps.
    Last edited by Pdplayer; 03-19-2007 at 07:48 PM.

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