Changing Your Skins

Drum Head Replacement Tutorial

Changing Drum Skins

Step 1. Take a tom, thatís one of the drums that is mounted on top of the bass drum (the large drum that sits on the floor) and start undoing the tension rods around the drum on both the top and bottom. The tension rods are the long screws that go through the holes of the metal ring over the drum head and in to the lugs, which are attached to the drum.

Step 2. Now the tension rods are undone, lift the rim off the drum and remove your old drum skin from the tom. Repeat this on both sides of the drum.

Step 3.Now you are left with the bare bone drum, take your new drum head and place it on the drum, making sure that it is evenly placed around the drum and not on an angle.

Step 4. Take the rim of the drum and place it over the new skin, once again making sure it is sitting evenly over the skin.

Step 5. Now make sure all the tension rods are through the holes of the rim and in-line with the drums lugs. Using your fingers, tighten each tension rod into the lugs until you can't turn them anymore with your fingers. Now repeat this process with the other side of the drum.

Now the new skins are on the drum it's time to tune them up. There are many different ways of tuning drums and a lot depends on how many lugs there are, what type of wood the drum is and the type of skin being used, but in the end it's down to the player to decide what sound he/she is after. Tuning a drum requires a tuning key. There are a couple of different keys available to make tuning easier; the speed wrench key which makes turning the tension rods easier and the TAMA tension watch with recommended tuning tensions.

Step 6.Take your drum key and do one full turn on a tension rod, now take the exact opposite ( 6 oíclock from the first rod ) tension rod to the one you started with and do one full turn on that. Repeat this in a clockwise pattern from the tension rod you started with until you have applied one full turn to all of the tension rods. You will now notice that the drum skin is tighter, and it's now down to the player to tune the drum to the desired pitch.

When finding the desired pitch, apply the same amount of turn on each tension rod to ensure the skin is being tightened/loosened evenly, a good way to do this is by using 360 degree turns, 180 degree turns and 90 degree turns of the drum key.

Now you've changed your first drum skins you can repeat the process on the rest of the toms and the bass drum, but not the snare drum. Snare drums are a little more complicated, before you can remove the bottom skin you must remember to detach the snare's (snare wires) from the drum.

You will need a screwdriver for this.
Step 1.Take the snare drum and simply loosen the screws that are clamping the snare wires to the body of the drum and free them. You will only need to do this on one side of the drum.

Step 2.Now with the same method of removing the tom head from earlier, remove the bottom skin from the snare drum.

Step 3.Now you simply need to fit your new skin just like you did with your tom drum, And donít forget to re-attach those snare wireís.

Like toms there are many ways to tune a snare drum, but personally Iíve always found that tightening the skins on the snare drum as tight as they go has always given me the sound Iím after, and sometimes the sound I didnít realise I was after.
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