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WATCH: Is this the ultimate snare drum tuning hack?

Laura  Barnes
WATCH: Is this the ultimate snare drum tuning hack?

The snare drum is the core voice of any kit, and something that varies wildly depending on the style of music being played and the personal tastes of the drummer.

There’s a reason why a lot of gigging drummers are precious about their snare and are not too keen on letting others bash about on it.

I recently bought a new one myself, after testing and re-testing a good few models in a drum store until I found something that just clicked with me.

The snare drum is the drummers voice in a way, and it turns out my voice is an unusual 13x7 limited edition Tama Metalwork.
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But what do drummers do when they need more than one voice?

Drummers can face this problem in a number of scenarios, but I imagine it’s most problematic if you’re in a covers band playing a variety of different styles, or perhaps a session musician who enjoys working with artists making music across various genres.

Some may choose to buy additional snare drums for different occasions; other may use accessories like hoops and gels to change tones.

Drummer Udo Masshoff has created what he calls the ‘greatest snare drum tuning trick EVER’ a.k.a the Masshoff Tuning Method.

One thing that’s impressive about his technique is that it enables you to very quickly tune your snare drum to accommodate wildly different styles. You can go from a big, open grungy sound to a tight funk snare in a matter of seconds, meaning it’s possible to play these styles of music one after another in a live set and be able to tune your snare drum accordingly in between.

What Masshoff does is tune the bottom snare head really tight to ‘give the best snare wire response so you can almost do whatever you want with the top head’.

For the top head, he loosens all the screws and slowly tightens the lugs one turn at a time. At this point, the snare sounds very high.

What Masshoff essential does throughout the rest of the demonstration is to tighten the top three screws (11, 12 and 1 o’clock positions) and leave the bottom three screws (5, 6 and 7 o’clock positions) pretty loose. This leaves two lugs on both sides of the snare which are used to change the pitch.

It really is impressive stuff. Check out the video below for the full demonstration:

Do you have a better snare drum hack? Or know of any interesting musical instrument hacks? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

Tags: Video , hacks , Udo Masshoff , Snare drum tuning hack , drum tuning

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