Studio Class 2
Dr. Jason Kihle, Associate Professor of Percussion
Texas A&M University-Kingsville
- 36” is good for most schools
- 40” is too big for middle school
- 40” is not really necessary but can be nice to have
- Fibreskyn heads are the industry standard, give a less harsh sound
- When putting heads on, if there is a rattle, it may be the tension rod clamp on the rim; one solution to this is to put felt between the clamp and the rim
- BD heads are not set to a specific pitch
- Striking head should be higher than resonating head
- 4th to a 5th difference; however, there are other tuning possibilities
- Don’t want to hear a pitch with a concert bass drum; if it’s too low it will have a plastic quality
- Mount the new head and finger-tighten all lugs to equal tension
- Use the appropriate sequential tuning method and begin with ½ key-turns on each lug until the drum begins to resonate.
- Seat the head by applying open palm hand pressure to head center and pressing with firm, short bursts. After doing so, you may need to clear the head of overtones.
- Continue raising pitch in ½ turn increments until the drum is within its accepted range.
- Recommended batter (playing) head pitch: C-E
- Recommended resonant side head pitch:
- ½ step higher than Batter Head. Achieves a full round sound and maximizes sustain and articulation.
- Sam pitch as Batter head. Achieves a moderately full sound and articulation.
- Using a reference pitch from a chromatic tuner, fine tune the drum by tapping in front of each lug to ensure the head is clear of excess overtones.
- The stroke is produced by the forearm and the wrist; soft strokes are produced mostly by the wrist; loud strokes are produced by adding the upper arm to the general stroke
- Play slightly off center and leave mallet “into” head; this is done with a “flicking” of the wrist to terminate the stroke; this produces maximum vibration and overtones from the drum
- Be careful of playing too low on the head, this will not give a characteristic sound
- Car waxing glove will dampen nicely for marches and still maintains a depth of sound
- Never dampen resonating head without also dampening batter head, because you get overtones and no bass
- Some players use the edge for soft rolls and special effects (thin sound and higher overtones)