How to tune Drums?

You just sat on the battery, get your wands, start playing and … the sound is really horrible. Ok, don’t panic. You have to tune the battery.

In this post I will try to explain as clearly as possible what we mean by tuning the battery, pulling the skins and what is the easiest method to start doing it yourself.


Before seeing how we proceed in practice, I make a simple distinction :

  • Beating leather: The leather, as the word says, is the leather that will be mounted on the part of the drum closest to us and that will, therefore, be hit by the baton/sash. The leather will have precise characteristics depending on the sound you want to get. You can see what types of leather are available and their different characteristics.
  • resonant skin : The resonant skin is that which is placed in the part of the drum that is not hit by rods and flaps and therefore it will be the lower skin of the toms/tympanum/snare drum and the one that is in front of the chest (the one visible by the people, where the logo is written ).

Usually, this is a skin with different characteristics from the casement, as it will not have to “bear” the stress of being hit, but it has the role of making the drum resonate more, creating a resonance box.

It is not uncommon to see single-layer skins as resonant.


Usually, when we buy a new battery we may need to mount the skins ourselves. In the case of a used battery, maybe the skins are already there, but they are damaged, so you may need to change them anyway.

The skins, as you can see, are mounted between the rim and the battery shaft.

Use the supplied key to unscrew the nuts, if you don’t have a special key (available for just a few euros in all instrument stores), you can even use a very small wrench.

Unscrew the dice, put them all aside (be careful not to lose them ) and remove the rim and then the skin.

If you want you can do the same for resonant skin.

Without going into detail, I just want to tell you that as far as cheap batteries are concerned, the drums could have inhomogeneities and the mechanics of tuning difficulties. All the tips you will find here and around the internet are most often referred to as a good quality set, which does not present any particular problems. I tell you this because often in cheap drum sets, when you remove the skins that have already been mounted for a while, you should take care to mark yourself as the circle was positioned and the order of the nuts in the respective blocks, to avoid problems due to defects, which could complicate and not just tuning.


Fitting the new skin is always a good feeling and it’s very simple. Take the barrel and place it on a rigid and stable surface, for example on the floor above a rug or on a low table to be more comfortable.

Before taking the skin, much advice to pass on the edge a bit of very thin sandpaper, to “clean” the edge, that is to be sure that there are no wood splinters that could damage the new skin. If the battery is of good quality, pass a finger first to see if there is any lack of homogeneity, there is often no need to do anything.

If you want to “clean the edge” be careful not to overdo it. Measure the strength I recommend!

Take the skin now, place it on the edge of the stem, orienting it as you prefer, place it over the circle, thread the tie rods and start pulling them with your fingers, until you can.

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How to tune Drums? Part 2

September 8, 2019