[Tuning your percussion by Waywood Music]

Tuning Percussion


Although these pages are designed to help you get the best sound from your acoustic percussion in a live setting, they will also allow you to provide an excellent sound source for more specialised applications such as close-miking or recording.

The following basic principles apply to tuning any drum:

[Small Bodu Beru]Drums are made of materials which resonate (vibrate). Therefore, the best sound will be achieved if this is allowed to happen.

Different types of drum head are made to produce different types of sound. Natural skin and synthetic heads have their own qualities of sounds. Remember that natural skin heads will VARY in THICKNESS much more than their synthetic counterparts.

Your drums will produce their best sound if the drum heads and drum shell resonate together (in sympathy).

Tune the drums to sound their best and then 'fine tune' out any unwanted rings either by SUBTLE changes in tuning of the top or bottom head or by SUBTLE damping if necessary.

Remember that if you are not miking-up your drums, you will need resonance and extra overtones (ring) to project their sound over the other instruments. Some of the more characteristic sounds of percussion drums are achieved through their resonance.

If you are miking-up, it is relatively easy for a sound engineer to get a great sound from a good sounding source (drum), but almost impossible to achieve a good sound from a poor sounding drum

Tuning is a very personal thing, and represents part of your 'drum identity' or 'trade mark'.

The suggestions contained in these pages have been found to give excellent performance across a wide range of musical styles, and produced the most favourable comments from audience and sound engineers.

Choose which page you would like to view from the list below.

Tuning Drums with Natural Skin Heads
Tuning Drums with Synthetic Heads


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