Drum Repair, Tech Tips

How to change a Snare Side drum head!

Changing out a Snare Side Head!

When I first started to maintenance my drums one of the scariest things that I had to do was change out my snare side drum head.

The main fear that surfaced was the idea that I could not get the sound or tuning back after changing out the drum head. This was a combination of my misunderstanding, lack of knowledge and practice when it came to the maintenance and tuning of my drums.

My solution to this was much research and then simply putting time into practicing what I learned. In turn, this helped me become more comfortable with changing out drum heads and the maintenance of my drums especially when it came to the snare drum.

Im not shying away from the fact that this did take me time, yet I eventually got to the point where I was consistently getting the same tuning and sound that I was looking for and not just for my snare drum but for my drums for any given situation.

As I explain step-by-step what I did in the video above, I hope that this can become a resource for you in addition to helping you CONSISTENTLY create the sound you desire to hear in your drums through the art of maintenance and tuning.

My Step By Step process in changing out a Snare Side Drum head:

  1. Take off the snare wires, old broken drum head and resonant counter hoop.
  2. Clean the bearing edges, hardware and drum shell of dirt and dust. ( In this video I did use wipes but now I have switched to Music Nomad Drum Detailer which is much more effective cleaner.)
  3. Put on new snare side drum head.
  4. Place counter hoop on and clean tension rods. (There is always gunk that can get inside the lugs that make’s it harder to tune. Cleaning the tension rods and lugs helps with that and assures that you are not going to shred the casing.)
  5. Slightly dip the tension rods in white lithium grease. ( I used to do this with every drum maintenance and since this video, with advisement from other professionals, I have use this method much much less. By using white lithium grease you end up creating some of the gunk that you find on the tension rods and in the lugs. Additionally, they don’t keep tension well causing a bigger problem then a help for me. So I would say use with caution and if you do use it don’t over use it. Apply like every 3 or 4 time you maintenance that drum.)
  6. Get the tension rods to finger tight. (This assures you have a level starting point as you move on to the next steps)
  7. Bonus tip for the batter heads: Stretch out the head. (This is something I do a lot with Remo heads because they are more of a blank canvas than the other brands and needs to be broken in. Evans and Aquarian doesn’t need this as much because they have “pre-tuned” or “pre-shaped” collar’s on their drum heads. Doesn’t mean you can’t give a little pressure so it sits into the bearing edge well 😉.)
  8. Tune up the resonant head by using Stereo tuning and Opposite Tuning Techniques. ( I normally feel out as I’m tensioning up a drum head. I tune up by going up by half turns or quarter turns aiming for a high tuning. This is not table top tight, there should still be some give in the head when you finish. )
  9. Re-tune the batter side
  10. Reattach the snare wires to the strainer and butt.
  11. Demo the newly tuned snare drum. Which means your done 🥁🤓😁😁

As you can see this is not just a couple steps. This took a well crafted and thought out process to achieve the goal of a fine tuned, well-balanced snare side drum head.
Some of these steps can be combined, yet all are a great starting point to figure out your tuning process.

That is the one thing I hope you realize by reading this blog and watching these video. Any technique you see or read online is only an opportunity to help you develop your way of tuning. Just be willing to experiment and endure the process in becoming better at knowing your drums.

Setting up your Snare wires

The process is exciting and reassuring in knowing you will get to a point where you’re able to tune your drums to anything you desire which in turn continually inspires you to create something new.

Thank you so much for taking the time read this blog and watch these video’s, I really hope it’s been helpful and informative.

If you have any questions regarding this process or have something to add don’t hesitate to leave a suggestion or request through my Contact and drop a comment in the section below.

Well that all from me for now, love you guys a tone. Okey. Byeeeeeeeee. 🥁🤓👊🏻❤️

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