Video: 7 Cheap Ways to Change Your Snare Drum's Tone

To find the right snare tone for a song, you might test out a few different drums or add samples to recorded parts to bolster your tone. But sometimes it's as easy as modifying your existing snare.

In our video above, Jessica Burdeaux offers seven cheap ways to get some extra charm or character from your snare.

Muffling, of course, is one of the easiest ways. Whether by placing your wallet, a towel, or moongel on the top head of the snare drum. But there are also some products that specialize in giving a specific tone via muffling like Big Fat Snare Drum's Donut, which is perfect for its namesake big fat snare sound.

The company's Medford Square will give you an even fatter snare sound, while lowering the pitch of each hit. Meanwhile, the Big Fat Snare Drum Snare-Bourine will give you the same fattening thump but with the added jingle-jangle of a tambourine.

A small splash cymbal is also a great way to add a different tone to your snare drum. Simply by placing it on top, you can get an attack-heavy hit more in line with a techno drum machine sound than a standard acoustic snare.

Sometimes, you don't even have to add an additional piece of kit. By flipping your drum over and playing—carefully—on what's normally the resonant head. Or, you can get a different texture by running your stick across the snare wires.

A standard set of snare wires will have somewhere around a dozen strands, so by replacing your snares and experimenting with different sizes, you'll be able to get different tones from the same drum. Jessica uses the Puresound Super 30, which more than doubles the normal amount of snare wires.

Lastly, you can get creative by changing your drum head. Depending on the thickness and material, you can drastically change your tone. Jessica uses a clear Remo Pinstripe Head that's normally used on toms, but when used here, "gives you a fat, deep, and sensitive snare sound."

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