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Drum Shell Construction

  This section will attempt to explain how the physical characteristics of a drum shell effect the sound of a drum. Please take into consideration all the things explained in the drumhead section, when contemplating all this. Also keep in mind that the when making the following comparisons, there has been no consideration for what type of head is being used. In other words, it's all relative. A drumshell with physical characteristics causing it to have maximum resonance, will of course be offset by a drumhead combination designed to muffle. Get it?

 I would like to give credit to Gene Okamoto and David Howe of Pearl Drums for giving permission to use information from their web site for this page. If you want to check out their site, it's at: www.pearldrums.com

Why are drum shells made of wood?

Maple, Birch, and Lauan.

Shell Thickness

Shell Sizes

 

drum shell thickness

-Mike-  




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Shells - Maple, Birch and LauanShells - Maple, Birch and Lauan
Maple, Birch, and Lauan. Most drum shells are made of one of these woods, so we will compare them. Lauan is the softest of these woods and it is also the least attractive, which contributes to...
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Shell ThicknessShell Thickness
Shell Thickness In a nutshell, the thicker the shell, the more higher it will sound. The thinner the shell, the lower it will sound. Don't get caught up in plies. You can't always judge a shell's...
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Drumshell - Shell Sizes
Drumshell Sizes The size of a shell is measured in diameter by depth. A 14 inch snare, with a depth of 5 and 1/2 inches would be notated as: 14x5-1/2 (5.5). A 12 inch tom that is 10 inches deep...
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Shell Construction - Why Wood
Why are drum shells made of wood?   Got me? No really, there isn't a special reason, other than wood sounds nice. As in other musical instruments, wood just has the kind of characteristics...
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