Learn How Drum Heads Work
Proper maintenance is key in keeping a drum set sounding great. One of the most important things to do regularly is change the drum heads (also known as Drum skins). Weather you play the drums once a week, or once a day, everyone will need to change their heads eventually. Being the main striking point on the drum set, they need to remain in tact and tight in order to keep the best sound. So what all should you know about drum heads? This article will help you determine the best time to change your drum heads.
How Do Drum Heads Work
A drum head works the best when it is uniformly tight, meaning the tension on the skin is even. In time, the skin will eventually weaken where you strike it the most, causing the tension to change. A weaker skin is more likely to dent, or even puncture with harder hits. In addition, a weaker skin will have little rebound for your stick, which will make it harder to play those fast chops and rolls you love to play!
Time To Change Your Drum Heads?
As a general rule of thumb, most skins should be changed every six months. Now this doesn't mean you should leave it till 6 months before you change them. If you play your set a lot you may need to change more frequently. Some things to look for in skins are indents and cracks. If you have a lot of bumps in your skin, chances are it will sound out of tune and need changing. Stick marks on the heads are ok, as long as there is no damage, a few marks will not hurt it. The same goes with your bass drum head. Make sure you are not digging a hole right where your beater hits. This is definitely not healthy for your head and will eventually result in puncturing the skin.
Snare Drum Heads
Snare drum heads usually need to be changed twice as often as tom heads. Since most drummers play the snare harder and more often then the toms, this makes sense. A good way to tell if your snare head needs replacing is by pressing down in the middle of the snare. Check and see if it droops or is weaker there then around the rim. Another way is to take the snare off and hit the center of the drum. If it sounds muffled or short, chances are it is time to change it.
Maintaining Your Drum Heads
Drum head maintnence are often overlooked by most drummers. Some drummers may have a very nice drum set, but with poor skins it may sound terrible. So keep that edge on other drummers, and always have healthy skins! Check out our tips on selecting the right drum heads, and drum head tuning.
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