Kenny Sharretts
Drum Technician - Drummer - Educator
Getting Rid Of A Snare Drum Buzz Part B: The Tune Around
by Kenny Sharretts on May 12th, 2014

All right all right. The time has come for part B of my tip for reducing unwanted snare buzz. Beyond the causes of snare buzz discussed in part A, the most common cause of snare buzz is sympathetic vibrations from the other drums in your kit. While it is next to impossible to get rid of all sympathetic vibrations from your other drums, it is possible to limit the influence of vibrations by tuning your toms (and even your Bass drum) around your snare. Take for example a standard five piece kit w/ 3 toms. By choosing good tuning intervals between the toms, you can create tuning "spaces" in between the tom's pitches where you can "fit" your snare's pitch. For example lets start with a five piece kit with a 10" Tom, a 12" Tom, and a 16" Floor Tom. As a basis, my preferred interval between a 12" Tom, and a 16" Floor Tom is a perfect 5th or what I like to call the "My Girl" interval (if it's a 14" I tend to use a perfect fourth). Then I will usually make the interval between the 10" and 12" Tom a major third. An example using the key of C would be 16"=C, 12"=G, and 10"=B (14",12"=G, and 10"=B). For those who like a low tension tuning on their snare drum, that gives you a wide range between the 16" (Tonic/C) and the 12" (perfect 5th/G) in which to tune your snare. For those who prefer a higher tension snare tuning you can tune it to an A right between the 12"(G), and the 10"(B) or to a D above the 10". Again these are just examples to give you an idea of how to create spaces in your Tom tunings in order to avoid snare buzz. None of these intervals are hard and fast rules. There is always some give and take between"where the drum sounds best/where you like it" and the intervals you choose. Just remember, the next time you have excessive snare buzz, check to make sure your snare is NOT tuned to the same pitch as any of your other drums. Also be reminded that 1/2 step intervals can be just as troublesome for snare buzz. Tune on fellow drummers.

Posted in Drum Tuning Tips Blog by Kenny Sharretts 2014    Tagged with getting rid of snare drum buzz, Kenny Sharretts, snare drum tuning by kenny sharretts, Drum Tuning, drum tuning by kenny sharretts


Leave a Comment