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Tuning Concepts

Seating the Head

Using one of the tuning patterns above, tension the head slightly higher than the desired pitch.  Next, place your palm in the center of the drum and apply firm pressure.  By now you should be hearing the crackling sound referred to in the introduction.  Now, de-tension the head and finger-tighten the rods again before beginning the fine-tuning process.

Tuning Up

Begin by making a ½-turn on each tension rod using the cross-tune method until you are close to the desired pitch.  Tap the head near each rod & compare the pitches.  Now comes the tricky part—you must tune each rod until the pitches are matched and the head is “balanced”.  Here’s a tip for accomplishing that:  if a pitch is too high, de-tune the rod and tune “up” to the desired pitch.  One other consideration before you go crazy trying to achieve perfection:  If your drum is not perfectly round with a true bearing edge, the head may not balance perfectly, so you’ll need to find a happy medium.

Tap the edge of the drumhead at each lug.

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