What pitch do you prefer for your snare drum?

Quai34

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psst
drums aren't
A =440
Yes, A 440 is A4, middle of a Piano is C4 so, A4 is really too high for any snare. So, when we talk about the range for a senses, it's one octave lower, A3, G3 etc...
 

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Quai34

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Yes ,good point but I still hear the first notes then the second or third one when I play my drums, it's way more obvious with cymbals for me though.
 
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JDA

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Terry Bozzio would disagree with you
1) I didn't write the article (I'm educated but I don't write articles) (except for here ; )
3) if you read it all the way down; Bozzio is mentioned 4) if anyone thinks drums are like a guitar, flute or piano in a melodic sense' have a Good future maybe you can come up with something; drums have been non-pitched instruments since the dawn of time; Wish ya the Best



Physically, drums are capable of playing a melody, and some drummers also use their kit as a melodic instrument. But due to the drums' overtones, it doesn't feel like listening to harmonic notes because they don't match the defined pitch that we expect to hear from a melodic instrument.
 
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RyanLovesDrums

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1) I didn't write the article (I'm educated but I don't write articles) (except for here ; )
3) if you read it all the way down; Bozzio is mentioned 4) if anyone thinks drums are like a guitar, flute or piano in a melodic sense' have a Good future maybe you can come up with something; drums have been non-pitched instruments since the dawn of time; Wish ya the Best

So Elvin said he tunes his toms using third and sixth intervals. Aren’t those kinda like notes?


Physically, drums are capable of playing a melody, and some drummers also use their kit as a melodic instrument. But due to the drums' overtones, it doesn't feel like listening to harmonic notes because they don't match the defined pitch that we expect to hear from a melodic instrument.
 
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JDA

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so far so good..
Yes drums are kinda like notes; That's good way to put it!

For each Key you may need 7 drums
There's twelve keys so--12 X 7--- that's 84 drums;
So drums are general in regards
there's intervals yea sure....but has to cross across all Keys.
So it's tones; more a feeling; more "an emotion".
Emotional Pitch.
I like that phrase.

You ever hear "his drums can bark"
that's more like it; emotional, senses
"crack" "snap" etc etc
not A and F#
more an emotional response

piano has 88 keys/notes right? (on a guitar- 49..)
Drums are five drums and five cymbals
 
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Old Drummer

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Apparently my post was unclear. Of course when mentioning 198 Hz and 214 Hz I was referring to the fundamental pitches. It would be one crazily tuned snare drum on which the lug pitches for either head were tuned to these frequencies.

But I wasn't unclear about the order of my tuning, which some comments distort. I tuned first by ear and then found the frequencies using TuneBot. I have no objection to those who tune first with a gadget, but this wasn't my point at all. Measuring the hertz or identifying the notes just gives everyone a common standard according to which we can discuss tuning. Otherwise, if people say "high tuning" or "low tuning," we don't really know what they mean. One person's high tuning could be another person's low tuning. Numbers or notes just give us a common yardstick to communicate.

And while I don't know whether the technology exists to do this, in principle the snare tuning of players during the 40s and 50s could be expressed in hertz or notes too. There's nothing anti-art about doing this. It just enables us to communicate without having to guess if what one person means by high or low tuning is the same as what another person means by it.

If you were buying a snare online and the seller refused to tell you the size in inches on the grounds that a drum is an instrument of art and art can't be expressed in numbers, would you buy the drum? If you got called for a gig and the caller refused to tell you the pay in a number because music is art, would you accept the gig? Come on, there's nothing anti-art about numbers.

These points aside, it is interesting to me that a lot of posts indicate a preference for snare tuning around 200 hertz, give or take. I would have thought that there would be more variability than this. Also interesting to me are the posts that mention different tuning for different songs, and especially how low tuning is associated with a "fatter" sound. This is my sense of it too, and for some songs or genres, I'd kind of like a lower snare tuning too. But nobody as yet has gone strenuously to bat for a super high tuning, and this is also interesting to me. I can see higher snare tuning for some things, but not many.
 

clowndog

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Yes, on the Tunebot website, you have a drummer that explain 4 main types of thing and he says that high pitch is A or A# for Funk for example, low tuning is F or F# and then most used tuning for a bit of every kind of music is G or G#.
Yes, but what if my DW snare has a "Good" note of A flat and I tune to G? I've now created a Minor 2nd. :blink:<_<
 

Quai34

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I don't think minor 2nd is used a lot, you just say half step, you need diaonic intervals to put a minor or major or sharp to it, like minor 3rd, major 3rd etc...Ok, as a 2nd so, a full step is played above the main chords, even in being inside the chords, you call it a 9h, which is the second interval after all the scale has been played...so, your minor 2nd, D flat in the chord of C major, is your Db, so 9b....You would say, D79b, your 9b being the Db, your second minor...
Based on that, because I have 10, 12, 13 and 16", and I didn't like my 13" too low or two close to my 16", I have my 16" at C3, my 13" at G3, my 12 at Bb3 and my 10" at Db, high is only a minor 3rd between the rack toms and a 5th between the 16 and the 13", it could have been more "normal to have them with 4th if I have had a 14" but I sure a lot the Tunebot to help me to find this but at the end I used my ears:
Coming from the 13", the huge gap between it and the 16" and the huge boom of it because it's at full resonance (same tension both heads) is awesome, I love it this way,
I wanted my 10" to pop but to have some resonance this, I felt, again using my ears that more than Db (or C#) will give me just a tiny "blip" attack and not that much more...Ok, it was not what Tunebot was proposing, there is examples with regular intervals tuning between several set up but most of them use the 16/14/12/10" set up that I don't have...
After that, knowing that the best thing is to tune it close to the songs you play, I checked all the funk songs we play and they are a lot with chords that are IIm7 or IIm7/9b or minor feeling so, having minor 3rd made sense, plus the blues scale work in minor 3rd steps (pentatonic scale plus 4th and flat 5th....When we don't play Funk, we play fusion or jazz or jazz rock and those kind of intervals works great too.
So, I'm quite a lot far away from the usual "a 4,th between your toms tuning is great because 4th goes with everything/style of music". Well, not necessarily to my type of music and not necessarily to my set up and toms configuration, so, ears at the end...
And then, confirmation with summers who are rest at tuning because they have gone through around 500 kits and 1000 snares for the past 10 years (buying then, Collecting, refurbishing and seeking them after a while) and they told me that my set up sounds awesome right out of the box, well, right out of the first playing...
NOTHING ABOUT THAT could have been possible for me, the keys player who decided in November 2018 to be "serious" about Dums and cymbals in term of gaining a bit of knowledge, without:
1) you on this forum,
2) People on Drummerword forum,,
3) My ears,
4) The Tunebot!!!
 
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BennyK

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Pink Floyd used common mechanical devices in some of their compositions . Were they pitch specific , complimenting keys and pivotal notes ? The cash register and alarm clock on Dark Side of the Moon,the motorcycle on Atom Heart Mother , for example. I'm guessing these are instantly recognizable , knowingly or not by the listening audience .

Is it important to tune a snare to be part of the harmonic texture of a song's key ? Especially James Brown's earlier recordings , where the tightly tuned drum puts the beat right on top, sometimes ahead ? Ringo didn't care for Rogers drums because he felt they were too " fast " ..... ??



Why do producers prefer specific cymbals , especially in jazz ?

What process led to the dampening of snares ?
 
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Seb77

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it is interesting to me that a lot of posts indicate a preference for snare tuning around 200 hertz, give or take. I would have thought that there would be more variability than this.
I think with a perceived low vs. high snare tuning, the character of sound can be really different while the difference in pitch is less than you would think. With the snare side head often still being tight, a looser batter head only changes the overall pitch so much, yet it produces a very different timbre. (With one head staying the same, the fundamental pitch only changes pitch only half as much as the head you tighten or loosen).
 

prplx

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Medium to medium high as weel. Cranked high it sounds like a cranked high snare. Tune low and fat i sounds like a low and fat snare. Medium high it sounds... like a snare.
 

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I don't think minor 2nd is used a lot, you just say half step, you need diaonic intervals to put a minor or major or sharp to it, like minor 3rd, major 3rd etc...Ok, as a 2nd so, a full step is played above the main chords, even in being inside the chords, you call it a 9h, which is the second interval after all the scale has been played...so, your minor 2nd, D flat in the chord of C major, is your Db, so 9b....You would say, D79b, your 9b being the Db, your second minor...
Based in that, because I have 10, 12, 13 and 16", and I didn't like my 13" too low or two close to my 16", I have my 16" at C3, my 13" at G3, my 12 at Bb3 and my 10" at Db, high is only a minor 3rd between the rack toms and a 5th between the 16 and the 13", it could have been more "normal to have them with 4th if I have had a 14" but I sure a lot the Tunebot to help me to find this but at the end I used my ears:
Coming form the 13", thehige gap between it and the 16" and thehige boom of it because it's at full resonance (came tension both heads) is awesome, I love it this way,
I wanted my 10" to pop but to have some resonance this, I felt, again using my ears that more than Db (or C#) will give me just a tiny "blip" attack and not that much more...Ok, it was not what Tunebot was proposing, there is examples with regular intervals tuning between several set up but most of them use the 16/14/12/10" set up that I don't have...
After that, knowing that the best thing is to tune it lose to the songs you play, I checked all thefunk song we play and they are for a lot with chords that are IIm7 or IIm7/9b or minor feeling so, having minor 3rd made sense, plus the blues scale work in minor 3rd steps (pentatonic scale plus 4th and flat 5th....When we don't play Funk, we play fusion or jazz or jazz rock and those kind of intervals works great too.
So, I'm quite a lot out of the usual "a 4,th between your toms I jng is great because 4th goes with everything/style of music". Well, not necessarily to my type of music and not necessarily to my set up and toms configuration, so, ears at the end...
And then, confirmation with summers who are rest at tuning because they have gone through around 500 kits and 1000 snares for the past 10 years (buying then, Collecting, refurbishing and seeking them after a while) and they told me that my set up sounds awesome right out of the box, well, right out of the first playing...
NOTHING ABOUT THAT could have been possible for me, the keys player who decided in November 2018 to be "serious" about Dums and cymbals in term of gaining a bit of knowledge, without:
1) you on this forum,
2) People on Summerwood,
3) My ears,
4) The Tunebot!!!
I was making a bad joke about the note written inside DW shells.
 

ThomasL

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By the way, I said earlier in the thread that my low tuned snare was 189/F#... And now it's at 198/G. She. I recieved it, it was cold and humid and now it's way more dry and warm. Is it normal that a drum could gain half a step with the temperature and the type of weather? Or is it because it was a new drum and that the heads needed some time to set on the edges?
Yes, it's normal. Each year, there are periods in the beginning of the winter and summer when I have to retune my drums almost weekly because the air humidity changes. When the humidity goes up, the wood absorbs water and swells, and the pitch goes up. Solid shells are much more sensitive than ply shells, drums with an oil finish are more sensitive than lacquered or wrapped drums, and bass drums are more sensitive because of the wood hoops. Once I used a steam-bent snare on a gig in late July (very humid) and put it away until January (very dry). The pitch had dropped so much that it sounded like shallow floor tom and not a snare!
 

Quai34

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Well, ok, you're right, I'd more humid in Winnipeg in summer than winter, we have very dry winter so, ok, I returned it to F#/fund 185, Top 281 and bottom 380, so, I have almost a 5th, 1.5 between the top and the bottom and I like it like that. That said, I kept the record in the thine not of the previous one so, when winter will be back, I should have another landmark/benchmark (not sure it's the word to use in that case??) For my Sendan snare.
And yes, both Sendan 6.5 and Maple 5.0 are plain/solid shell one ply and oil finish so, I had all the factors to have them coming up with a higher tuning. Thanks for the info.
I have also retuned my Maple to A#/Fund 232, Top 244, bottom 413. For the bottom, I had to drop it down a bit to try to be closer to 400, it says on the Tunebot website that it's better not to go too much over 400 Hertz by it was just the change in humidity in fact. Ok, I have 1.6 between the two heads but if I tune it the same way while tuning down the bottom, I will have to go up on the too and will losse some feeling, I don't want to have a too much choked high pitch snare...
And they say on the tunebit website that it's just some guide lines and not to be taken but the letter so, I think I'm good, my ears ar so, between the F# and the A#, I have a perfect 3rd, major 3rd and it work very well. Not sure what happens to the Bass drum though, it seems that it is More punchy, maybe more focused? Which could be the feeling of a higher pitch? I thought it was the the two bass traps that I had put in the room, it might be that too.
So, I have recorded them as Kit 2, in the Tunebot, for snare only though, the toms send good with the same intervals between them.
 

CANADIANCASTAWAY

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I always thought that I preferred a high tuning for my snare drum, until I bought a TuneBot. When I used the gadget to test my tuning, it read 198 hertz, pretty much in the middle of customary tuning.

I do remember tuning the drum when I changed the head, and of course I had lower pitches along the way. I found them acceptable, but not quite to my liking, so I kept cranking until I apparently hit 198 hertz and stopped. That seemed high enough to me.

Today I decided to raise the pitch on my snare drum to 214 hertz as part of an experiment in turning all my drums to the same intervals. My reaction to this higher tuning is once again that it's acceptable, but I don't think I like it. It sounds both choked and ringy to me, although mainly it's just outside my comfort zone.

So I guess I'm curious where the rest of you end up with your snare tuning. I assume that some of you set up two different snares while some tune differently for different genres. These orientations are beyond me, but those with these orientations can definitely weigh in--and probably with more sophisticated opinions than mine.

I'm apparently just an average tuner when it comes to snare drums.
I also like a high tuning on my snare and now have two a 6.5” Tama and a 5” Ludwig (just bought) both metal much different sounding the Tama is much beefier, but I have never set up two snares to play I also would know how or where I did however set up my second floor tom on my over the traditional both to the right, still not sold on that
 

DavedrumsTX

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I always thought that I preferred a high tuning for my snare drum, until I bought a TuneBot. When I used the gadget to test my tuning, it read 198 hertz, pretty much in the middle of customary tuning.

I do remember tuning the drum when I changed the head, and of course I had lower pitches along the way. I found them acceptable, but not quite to my liking, so I kept cranking until I apparently hit 198 hertz and stopped. That seemed high enough to me.

Today I decided to raise the pitch on my snare drum to 214 hertz as part of an experiment in turning all my drums to the same intervals. My reaction to this higher tuning is once again that it's acceptable, but I don't think I like it. It sounds both choked and ringy to me, although mainly it's just outside my comfort zone.

So I guess I'm curious where the rest of you end up with your snare tuning. I assume that some of you set up two different snares while some tune differently for different genres. These orientations are beyond me, but those with these orientations can definitely weigh in--and probably with more sophisticated opinions than mine.

I'm apparently just an average tuner when it comes to snare drums.
Whatever the music requires.
 


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