How to get rid of Snare Buzz

Posted on: April 7 2021 at 11:55 am

We have all experienced snare buzz and it can be quite annoying. Snare wires will always buzz a bit but there are some tricks to lessen it. The buzz can be caused by loose snares, sympathetic vibration, or misaligned snare wires.

Snare wires:
I feel the snare wires are often over looked. Inspect your snare wires to see if there are any loose strands, if there are it is time for a new set of snare wires. Engage the snares, do they look crooked? Are the snares closer to one bearing edge than the other? If so, try and realign them, it can be a bit annoying but try as best you can. Also, the more strands you have, the greater chance of buzz if you (if you really hate buzz try 8-12 strands). If there is still too much buzz, try tightening the snares. Don’t tighten so much that you don’t like the sound, if you need to do that, the problem is probably sympathetic vibration.

Sympathetic vibration:
If one of the pitches of the toms is the same as the snare it will cause sympathetic vibration and excite the snare wires (note that the same pitch in a different octave will also cause sympathetic vibration). If that is the case, I would recommend changing the tuning of the toms, not the snare. You don’t want to sacrifice snare sound for tom sound, your snare gets used a lot more. Check to see if only one tom is causing the snare buzz. If it is just one tom you need to decide if you want to change the tuning of just that tom or all of your toms. Remember you are always going to have a bit of snare buzz and likely the drummer is the only one who is really hearing it, don’t let it drive you crazy!