Video: How to Change & Tune Drum Heads

When it comes to crafting a great drum sound, learning how to re-head and tune your drums properly is crucial, regardless of brand, genre or your playing ability.

Much like the strings on a guitar, the tone of a drum is rooted in the way the heads interact with the shell and hardware; play with worn out heads and you’ll lose a lot of the resonance and character that’s otherwise present in and characteristic of your kit.


There is really no rule of thumb for how often drum heads should be replaced, but a visual inspection is a good place to start. Are you seeing craters or pits in the surface of the heads? Those are signs that you’re overdue for some replacements. Similarly, if you notice your drums just aren’t staying in tune or sound “flat,” your drumheads have probably reached the end of their lifespan.

Whether you’re just starting out, picking up drums as a second instrument or simply have a kit in your home studio or practice space that could use a sonic makeover, this video will walk you through the basics of re-heading your kit and dialing in a warm, punchy sound that’s perfect for live and studio rock drumming.

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