Tuning Question - Stanton Moore and Gretsch Drums/Die Cast Hoops

Topsy Turvy

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I was watching this video of Stanton Moore discussing tuning his drums, and I had a question.

My question is specifically about his floor toms, which he discusses from around 6:00 to around 10:00. At the 9:20 or so mark, he talks about how he has the batter side head just a smidge beyond finger tight. (The resonant head is higher pitched than the batter.)

He talks about how he tunes his drums this way to not resonate as much. ( Fyi- I am finding my floor toms are tuned to the same pitch and they resonate like crazy and just bleed over everything.) However, if I tune the batter side to just beyond finger tight on my modern Ludwig drums, they fall out of tune very very quickly. They seem to need more tension on them to hold their tuning.

So, is it only possible to tune the way Stanton talks about if I am using die cast hoops, like he does with his Gretsch drums? Or can I tune this way with my modern Ludwig drums?
 

rdumas

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I'm not playing Ludwigs, but I typically tune all my drums this way and don't use die cast on all of them. I tune them about same tension and then give bottom a slight (maybe 1/4) turn more. I don't feel that they are detuning quickly. I also went to a Benny Greb clinic recently where he specifically talked about how loose/low he tunes his floor tom...almost as low as his kick.
 

Seb77

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I'd actually say with a stiff dc hoop it happens more easily that one t-rod gets completely loose, to the extent of falling off. With a tf hoop like on Ludwigs there's still a little flex in the hoop, even at low tension that keeps the hoop in contact with the t-rod.
If it loosens, you might have to use some sort of lug locks. I'd tune a bit tighter, though, it will still sound deep out front.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I'd actually say with a stiff dc hoop it happens more easily that one t-rod gets completely loose, to the extent of falling off. With a tf hoop like on Ludwigs there's still a little flex in the hoop, even at low tension that keeps the hoop in contact with the t-rod.
If it loosens, you might have to use some sort of lug locks. I'd tune a bit tighter, though, it will still sound deep out front.
Thank you very much for your insights. The lug locks sound like a good idea. I think I'll give those a shot.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I'm not playing Ludwigs, but I typically tune all my drums this way and don't use die cast on all of them. I tune them about same tension and then give bottom a slight (maybe 1/4) turn more. I don't feel that they are detuning quickly. I also went to a Benny Greb clinic recently where he specifically talked about how loose/low he tunes his floor tom...almost as low as his kick.
Thanks for the input.
 

bongomania

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I watched the video, and I’m a huge fan of Stanton as both a player and a genuinely nice guy, but I’m not sure about his tuning advice there.

For one, I didn’t love the way those floor toms sounded on their own. They only “sounded good” to the extent that a great player was chopping on them. Otherwise, flabby and toneless.

For another, that method of “chasing” the tension around the head, by giving _extra_ tightening to each subsequent lug, has given me endless headaches of drums that either have weird harmonic ringing, or where each alternating lug is too tight or too loose. Especially with 10 lug snares—I’ve sold snares thinking they just “can’t be tuned”, only to later discover the problem was me chasing tension around the head.

Now, I’m just some bozo on the internet, and he’s a world renowned drumming master. But try other tuning methods too.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I watched the video, and I’m a huge fan of Stanton as both a player and a genuinely nice guy, but I’m not sure about his tuning advice there.

For one, I didn’t love the way those floor toms sounded on their own. They only “sounded good” to the extent that a great player was chopping on them. Otherwise, flabby and toneless.

For another, that method of “chasing” the tension around the head, by giving _extra_ tightening to each subsequent lug, has given me endless headaches of drums that either have weird harmonic ringing, or where each alternating lug is too tight or too loose. Especially with 10 lug snares—I’ve sold snares thinking they just “can’t be tuned”, only to later discover the problem was me chasing tension around the head.

Now, I’m just some bozo on the internet, and he’s a world renowned drumming master. But try other tuning methods too.
Yeah, I actually agree with much of what you are saying. The one issue that he mentions which resonates (pun intended) with me is about the floor toms ringing too much. I have tried the cotton ball trick and messed with some different head combinations, but my floor toms are still ringing all over the place. His floor toms are a bit punchier with not as much resonance, which appealed to me.

I do absolutely agree with your thoughts about "chasing" the tension around the head. That has never worked for me.
 

Seb77

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I do use a method similar to his, going from fingertight to lowest pitch, by feeling the "hoop flex", loosening to just before the t-rod engages, then tightening a quarter or half turn, going around the drum several times. I then listen to the pitches, maybe correct them, and for higher pitch, I then just tighten equally all around.

With a loose head and the t-rods fingertight, you need to start somewhere. I might prefer going around in the "star pattern", but you need to re-tighten the other "fingertight" rods just the same. You might be able to achieve even tuning just going around the head as well. I coul actually do an a/b comparison comparing both patterns.
 

Rock Salad

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Also if one is going for just above a wrinkle and then even out by chasing pitch in a circle, it might wind up significantly higher than "just above wrinkling."
Edit: tight resonant on floor does help alot.
 

robthedrummer

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I put a Snarewight M-1 on my floors. Takes out the perfect amount of ring. I can flip them up for the amount of ring I want. great mufflers.
 

crash

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I've got triple flange on my current '70's Gretsch set. I like them a lot, and they are easier to tune then with cast rims.
IMG_2266.jpg
 

Topsy Turvy

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I put a Snarewight M-1 on my floors. Takes out the perfect amount of ring. I can flip them up for the amount of ring I want. great mufflers.

I have actually been looking at Snareweights. I hadn't considered using them on floor toms. Might be worth a shot.
 

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