Why Replace your drum Head by wgl47616


									Why Replace your drum Head?
                                                                 How to Replace a
Replacing drum heads is an important part of maintaining
both the aesthetic appearance, and the acoustic performance
of the drum. Over time, the drum head develops concavity
                                                                 Snare Drum Head
from the repeated strikes of the drum sticks. The sound
quality and the responsiveness decreases as the drum head
deforms. Although some musical experience is useful in
tuning the drum after replacement of the head, little
technical ability is needed to perform the basic steps. This
task may take up to 30 minutes the first time it is performed.
These instructions are intended for someone with little
background working with drums. Tuning a drum is a skill
that is acquired with practice. These instructions will lead
to the development of this skill. After some practice, this
task can be completed quickly and easily.

Before you start
        Gather all listed Materials:
            □ New drum head
            □ Drum key                                           Photo 1. Snare Drum with 8 tension rods and a drum
            □ Drumstick
            □ Soft cleaning cloth
A. Removing the old drum Head
    1. If the drum is on a stand then disassemble the drum
       from the stand.
    2. Place the drum on a table covered with a blanket or a
       carpeted floor that will allow easy access to all the
       tension rods. The level surface underneath the drum
       protects the shell while turning and pushing on the
    3. Choose one tension rod to loosen. For example, refer
       to #1 in Photo 1. Any one may be chosen as the first      Photo 2. Loosening a tension rod with the drum key.
    4. Loosen the rod with the drum key in a counter-
       clockwise direction—loosen enough so that it can be        Note
       turned by hand. Refer to Photo 2.                          The rim is very strong and will not likely warp
    5. Next, loosen the opposing tension rod (directly            from tension. The specific order in which the rods
       across the diameter of the drum head). Refer to #2 in      are loosened will become more important when
       Photo 1.                                                   installing the new drum head. Warping the drum
                                                                  head during installation is easy to do and following
    6. Continue to loosen rods opposite from each other
                                                                  the method laid out in part C of the instructions
       until all are free of tension. This keeps the rim from     will avoid this.
       being subjected to needless uneven stress. (See Note
       for an explanation of the importance of
       loosening in opposing pairs).

  7. Finish loosening the rods by hand. Remove them
     from shell housing and leave them in the rim. The
     order is not important here. Refer to Photo 3.
  8. Remove the rim and tension rods by lifting it off the
     drum (Photo 4 (a)). It will lift easily. Wipe the rim
     and the rods clean of any wood splinters with a soft
     cleaning cloth.
  9. Remove the old drum head (Photo 4 (b)) from the
     drum and clean out the inside of the drum. A simple
     wipe-down cleaning with a soft cloth is sufficient to
     remove the dust and wood splinters.

B. Installing the new drum head.
                                                               Photo 3. Finish loosening the rods by hand.
  1. Seat new drum head over drum shell. Line up shell
     and drum head logos for aesthetic appeal. Make sure
     there is nothing between the head and the shell.
  2. Place rim over drum head, align tension rods and
     ensure there is nothing between the rim and the head.
  3. Firmly hand-tighten the tension rods in any order
     until it is hard to turn them any more.
  4. Follow the tightening pattern shown below in Photo
     5 and tighten each rod one full (360 degree) turn.
     Proceed around the drum following the pattern from                     (a)                   (b)
     1 – 8. The idea is to keep the tension as even as         Photo 4. (a) Removing rim from shell with tension rods
                                                                            still in rim.
     possible around the head. See Caution Note.                        (b) Removing drum head from shell.

                                                                 Caution Note
                                                                 Warping can permanently damage the
                                                                 head if left for a significant period of
                                                                 time. Watch out for warping (Photo 7)
                                                                 of the drum head while applying tension.
                                                                 Warping occurs when the drum head is
                                                                 subjected to uneven tension.

  Photo 5. Tightening method to avoid
           warping the drum head.

  5. After the drum head is tightened onto the shell, strike
     the drum with a drumstick and listen to the pitch.
  6. If the pitch is near the desired final pitch then
     proceed on to tuning, if not then go to step 8. The
     desired pitch is solely dependent on your preference
     and application.

                                                               Photo 7. Warping depicted due to uneven tightening of
                                                                        tension rods.

    7. If the pitch is too low then repeat steps 5-7 with ¼
       clockwise turns on each tension rod, instead of full
       turns. If the pitch is too high then turn counter-

C. Tuning the localized drum pitch
Although a drum may have the overall pitch desired, it may
have different pitches in localized areas of the face. This is
due to uneven tension on the surface of the drum head from
the tension rods. The following procedure will allow you to
attain a uniform pitch on the whole drum head surface.

    1. Place a finger on the center of the drum as shown in       Photo 8. Tuning the drum by checking the pitch
       Photo 8. Just rest your finger and do not apply much               between a tension rod and finger.
    2. Tap the drum with a drumstick midway between
       your finger and one of the tension rods (Photo 8) and
       listen to the pitch.
    3. Next, tap the drum midway between your finger and
       the opposite tension rod (Photo 9) and listen to the
    4. If one pitch is lower than the other, the tension rod
       on that side needs tightened. Test each side again
       and repeat until a uniform pitch is achieved.
    5. Continue around the drum in this manner, checking
       the tension rods in opposing pairs, until all the
       pitches are the same.
    6. Remove the finger and tap the drum to check overall
                                                                  Photo 9. Checking pitch between opposite tension rod
If the pitch is not at the desired level repeat part C with                and finger.
small adjustments to the tension rods until the desired tone
is acquired. If the overall pitch is too high, then the tension
rods are too tight and they need to be adjusted counter-
clockwise. On the other hand, if the pitch is too low, then
the rods are too loose and they need to be adjusted
clockwise. It is important that every part of the drum has a
uniform tone.
The replacement of the drum head is complete! Enjoy the
new and improved sound. The new head will be more
responsive and the sound more crisp. Regular care and
maintenance, such as changing the drum head, will keep the
drum in good condition and allow peak performance.

  Tip related to pitch                                                   Photo 10. Snare drum with a dampener.
  Sometimes it is desirable to muffle the sharp
  sound of the snare drum. Dampeners, as depicted
  by the white ring in Photo 10, are used to soften               Troubleshooting: If there are any problems within
  the sharp sound of the snare drum and provide                   any of the steps, the easiest thing to do is to start at
  balance for a band. They calm the movement of                   the beginning of the section currently being worked
  the drum head after it is struck.                               on and proceed from there.


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