The world of drumming is buzzing with amazing musicians. Among the first instruments in history, drums held a valuable place. If you are just starting out, we know how it is like to be clueless about drum heads. But do not fret – we are here to have your back!No idea what drum heads are made of? Grab the best drum heads with the help of this article. Read on! What are Drum Heads Made of?
Drum heads are those plastic surfaces on the bottom and top of drums. Initially, the animal hide would be taken, dried out, and later stretched above a wooden shell. Drum heads were therefore called drum skins.
Flash forward to the 20th century and we have come a long way. Drum heads, these days, are fabricated from either mylar or polyester, or a mix of both.
Now comes a bigger problem, the drum skins are highly affected by humidity and temperature, so it gets difficult to choose one that remains almost resistant to these. Here, we have chosen some of the best ones to show you what drum heads are made of.How to Set Up a Drum Set
The two types of heads
On each drum, there are 2 types of drum heads, one where you strike is the batter head, and the other bottom skin is the resonant head. They are available in single or two-ply (one or two layers of material) manufacture in a variety of finishes and materials. With the single-ply heads, you receive increases resonance and sustainability, while the heavier two-ply allows heavy-hitting music to sound better.
Single-ply is the most commonly used drum head. They generally come in 7 to 10 mil of thickness and are composed of a single layer of Mylar. A few 12 mils, however, have entered the market in recent years.
If you are wondering, one mil is equivalent to one-thousandth of 1 inch. The thinner your drum head, the more high-end ring, and overtones – that is, brightness – can be heard, while the sustain of the head will reduce.
Generally sensitive, the single ply-heads are among the least durable of the batter heads. Ideal for playing lighter styles (light rock and jazz), they can also release big, boomy music for more ambient and louder situations.
Double Ply: Excellent for R&B, fusion, and metal
You will see most double or two-ply heads containing two-layered 7 mil plies. Yet, some models of different thicknesses are produced to release distinct tones (for instance 7.5 mil black-coated Evan’s twin Onyx, 7/5 mil Super-2 by Aquarian, and twin 5.5 mil Vintage Emperor and 7.5/3 mil Vintage Ambassador by Remo.
Most commonly, double-ply heads provide a more controlled and deeper sound with a more refined attack, shorter sustain, fatter punch, and fewer tones than single-ply heads. Even more, it has increased durability.
For louder, heavier musical styles, double-ply heads are usually more preferable. Players who are suckers for articulate sound must try this out as its pronounced attack makes it likable.
To filter out excess rings, some batter heads have dots attached to the bottom or top of the head. It gives you a drier, more focused sound. To obtain the same effect, some players affix a line of duct tape but the results are uncertain, and it really damages the overall look of the drum kit.
Note: If you attach using brushes, you would probably like to stick with dotted heads on the underside to steer clear from snagging a bristle.
To give your mu
sic the subtle muffling it needs, drum heads are given a black or white coating. The excess ring is monitored with the use of embedded internal sound rings around the outer perimeter.
Plenty of jazz drummers place a traditional white-coated head on their snare drum and clear heads on their tom drum, as the sound quality is better with brushes of a coated snare drum head. The bottom head, also known as the snare-side head on a snare drum, is transparent and maximizes the number of responses to the snare wires.
Bass Drum Heads
To offer a controlled sound, the bass drum heads include an internal dampening system around the batter head. A porthole is also available for a mic to fit easily and for better tone.
Add a porthole protector to that and you are great to go. They help to avoid your drum head from denting or ripping while fitting a mic.
You will find thousands of combinations of resonant heads and beaters. The combination of Kevlar, pre-muffled heads, and calf-skin add various options so that no two drums ever gave out the same sound.
Notes on Tuning
A mistuned drum on stage and disaster go pretty well together. Yeah, spectators feel like throwing things at the band when they hear a badly tuned drum on stage.
If you would be a bit careful to tune and give your best shot, you would garner praises instead. So we will show how you can tune up your drum head to maximize the rhythmic tone.
Begin by adjusting your head below the hold and tighten all tension rods using your finger – remember to tighten them as much as you can, using all the strength your hands can offer.
Next, pick a nut and turn it 180 degrees to pull the skin wrinkle-free and taut. You can follow some other steps as shown here.
Most drum heads might be tuned within a note range of 3 with their snares having a moderately longer range. Some steps you can follow are shown here.
That’s all you needed to know about drum heads. Consider the music you are about to play before picking a drum head. Drum heads are can provide to be an essential part of your drumming process. So take your time to read this article again (if you need it) to gain a better understanding.
Hopefully, this article answers your question on what drum heads are made of. After all, you cannot beat a well-fitted head (pun intended).