Home Tech - Drumset Tuning
Drumset Tuning

This area and it now has its own website
This is the original material. Thanks Mike.


This is a very rough draft of what I hope will be an easy to follow and informative guide to getting you drums to sound better than cardboard boxes. It is designed for the beginning drummer who is clueless about how to get drums to sound like drums. But, I think even some experienced drummers may pick up some helpful techniques.

Later versions will include diagrams and maybe some photos. My main goal is to have the best information that can be accessed quickly by the slowest modems. I'm not interested in having a graphics heavy site with spinning logos and all the junk that makes you wait ten minutes to download. Besides, you've wasted enough time just reading this. :-p

I'm not interested knowing more about tuning than anyone else-- I don't even pretend to. I always want to learn more, so please send me your comments, suggestion, complaints and praise.

Mike Radcliffe    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


click to go to tunadrum Drum Tech

This area of Drumdojo has grown into its own drum tuning site at Tunadrum


All Still FREE!

Take me to drum tuning heaven

Tensioning Pattern for Tuning

Tensioning Patterns

Mike Radcliffe 

Most drums have 6,8,or 10 lugs. The pattern can work for any of these. Just always start at the same lug.  (Write the following numbers on the drum head next to the tension rods. If you have coated heads, do this with a pencil on the head, itself. If you have clear heads, do this on the head with a sharpie marker. If you don't want to write on the heads (give me a break!) draw a circle on a piece of paper and use it, instead.) 

The Cons - Against Drum Muffling / Treatment

The Cons of Drum Treatment / Muffling

Ok, all of you who have been ranting and raving over the stuff and nonsense above, here's your turn. This section will address the common reasons not to treat your drums. 

What's Wrong with Natural Drums?

Not much. Ask Jim Keltner or Kenny Aronoff, who prefer the sound of untreated (though incredibly well-tuned) drums. This is an especially cherished view in certain Jazz circles, as well. Many who hold this view believe that anyone who likes Treated drums has never played a really great set of drums with really great tuning. We're not going to touch that one. Instead, let's just say that natural, resonant drums do have a particular sound that is appropriate for many styles, and that might include you, no matter what style of music you play.

Methods of Drum Muffling

Common ways to Treat drums.


It's not pretty, but if you're playing a gig and the sound person says your rack tom is booming out too much, duct tape (or electrical tape, or gaffer tape) can be your best friend. In general, it is best to use more than one small piece of tape rather than one large one.
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