Four Cool Snare Sounds

Posted on: October 17 2019 at 4:22 pm

No matter what type of snare drum you have, you can get many different sounds from it. There are many variables at your disposal, tuning, head choice, snare wire tension, muffling etc. How you hit the drum is also going to have an impact on the sound as well. Here are some different sounds to try out.

Fat wet sound- To get a fat sound I recommend tuning your snare pretty low, maybe an F#(252Hz batter, 378Hz resonant) or a G (266 Hz batter, 398Hz resonant). Then, I like to loosen the snare wires a bit so it sounds a bit sloppy. Experiment with snare wire tension until it sounds good to you. I also like to muffle the batter head for a fat sound. You can use tape, moon gel, drum dots etc. whatever works for you. Try some rim shots, how does that sound? Great for back beats and ballads.

Tight funk sound- To get a tight funk sound you want tune your head fairly high, maybe G#(299Hz batter, 398Hz resonant) or A(319Hz batter, 398Hz resonant). I think it is best with a single ply head unless you are a heavy hitter. I like to tighten the snare wires until you are getting a fairly articulate sound. You want good stick definition for playing funk. You can leave the drum open for a brighter sound or muffle it slightly for even more stick definition. If you want a hip hop sound, muffle the drum even more until it almost sounds like a drum machine.

Versatile all around sound- It’s no surprise that medium tuning works good for a versatile sound. I go for between a G(266, 390) and G#(299, 398). You can use a variety of heads, I prefer a single ply for a brighter sound, but if you want more controlled sound or are a heavy hitter you should use 2 ply or muffled head. I think a medium snare wire tension is best here as well. Don’t have the wires too tight to choke the drum and not too loose to sound sloppy and washy. For jazz this tuning with a coated single ply head works well too.

Reggae sound- This one really works best with a metal shelled drum. Tune it up quite high, A#(356, 400) or higher . Make sure not to use any dampening and play rim shots close to the rim for that timbale like sound. I think a single ply drum head works best because you really want to hear the ring. Some people like to leave the snares disengaged as well.

These are just a few of the drum sounds you can get, the possibilities are endless. Try some out for yourself.