Tuning Guide
tunebot enables you to accurately tune your drums to specific notes or frequencies and once you know the notes or frequencies you want, you can quickly tune and retune your drums. This tuning guide will help you determine the notes and frequencies to use for your specific drumset. Then you can use tunebot to tune your set to those specific values. After you’ve tuned your set to your liking you can also store the pitches of all your drums in tunebot to allow you to quickly retune to the same sound over and over again.
Tom Tuning
A good way to tune your toms and your snare as well, is to use notes in musical intervals or chords for the fundamental pitches of the drums. One consideration, in selecting which interval or chord to use for tuning, is the number of toms (and optionally snare) in your set. If you have a small number of drums you might prefer larger intervals between drums whereas with a large number of drums you might be better with smaller intervals, otherwise, you might span too small or too large a range of pitches with your drums.
Summary of Tuning Steps
 1. Choose the fundamental notes for every drum using Table 1.
 2. Decide on the amount of Resonance: low, medium, high or maximum and if top or bottom head is higher in lugfrequency.
 3. Calculate the top and bottom head lugfrequency for every drum head.
For each drum:
 1. Tune top and bottom heads to required lugfrequency..
 2. Equalize top and bottom heads.
 *note: These formulas may not be exact. Depending on your drum’s dimensions you may have to fine tune the lug pitches to get the desired fundamental note. These formulas will however get you very close!
Details of Tuning Steps
Fundamental Note Selection
Suggested tunings for a variety of drum set configurations ranging from 2 to 6 toms are listed in the following table. The table also covers most popular tom sizes ranging from 8 to 16 inches in diameter. All the notes in any of these tunings can be moved up or down a few semitones (the distance between A and A#; a halfstep) to suit individual tastes without changing the intervals. Only the fundamental pitch of the drum, i.e., the lowest pitch of the drum (obtained when the drum is hit in the center and is mounted on a stand), is listed in the chart, not the lugpitches. You will get the same fundamental pitch whether you hit the top or bottom head since the top and bottom heads vibrate in unison when the drum is hit in the center. The corresponding top and bottom head lugpitches, however, are independent of each other and can be 1.2 to 2.3 times higher than the fundamental pitch for typical drum sizes.
NUMBER OF TOMS and TOM SIZES 
2  2  3  3  3  3  4  4  5  6 

8″  3E 165 Hz 
3G# 208 Hz 

10″  3C 131 Hz 
3C 131 Hz 
3C 131 Hz 
3D 147 Hz 
3E 165 Hz 
3C 131 Hz 
3E 165 Hz 

12″  2A 110 Hz 
2A 110 Hz 
2G 98 Hz 
2A 110 Hz 
2A 110 Hz 
2B 124 Hz 
2B 124 Hz 
2G# 104 Hz 
3C 131 Hz 

13″  2F 87.3Hz 
2G# 104 Hz 

14″  2F 87.3 Hz 
2F 87.3 Hz 
2F 87.3 Hz 
2G 98 Hz 
2F# 92.5 Hz 
2E 82.4 Hz 
2E 82.4 Hz 

16″  2D 73.4 Hz 
2D 73.4 Hz 
2C# 69.3 Hz 
2C 65.4 Hz 
2D 73.4 Hz 
2C# 69.3 Hz 
2C 65.4 Hz 
2C 65.4 Hz 

TYPE OF INTERVAL  Perfect Fifth  Perfect Fifth  Major Chord  Perfect Fourths  Major Thirds  Perfect Fourths  Call to Post  Perfect Fourths  Major Thirds  Major Thirds 
Resonance and Top or Bottom Head Tuning Options
With a twoheaded drum, the fundamental pitch of the drum can be varied by adjusting either top or bottom heads so there are an infinite number of top and bottom lugpitch combinations for any specific fundamental pitch. The resonance (or sustain) of the drum depends on the lugfrequency relationship between the top and bottom heads. After you decide on the amount of drum resonance you want, from low to high, specific top and bottom lug pitches can be easily determined for any desired fundamental pitch.
Selecting the amount of resonance that is right for you depends on the type of sound you want: maximum resonance and slower decay is obtained with top and bottom lugpitches tuned to the same pitch; alternatively, lower resonance and quicker decay is obtained from larger differences in top and bottom lugpitches. For live performance more resonance might be desirable whereas for a recording situation, it might be better to have less resonance and faster decay. Another consideration if the heads are tuned differently is which head is higher in pitch. Again this is a personal choice: typically, a more controlled sound is obtained with the bottom head tuned higher than the top head, a good choice for recording. On the other hand, more attack is attained with the top head tuned to the higher lugpitch.
Calculating the Top and Bottom LugFrequencies
The following lugfrequency formulas are values for typical drums. The actual values for your drums will depend on the ratio of the drum shell diameter to the depth, the type of drum heads you are using and if the top and bottom heads are the same type. Use these formulas as a starting point and adjust them to suit your specific drums and heads.
Maximum Resonance: Tune top and bottom lug pitches to the same pitch. Depending on the specific drum, the lug pitch will be between 1.6 and 1.9 times higher in frequency than the fundamental pitch. To start, multiply the frequency of the desired fundamental note by 1.75 and tune both top and bottom lugpitches to that frequency. Then, measure the fundamental pitch of the drum and adjust the pitch of top and bottom heads accordingly.
TOM SIZE  FUNDAMENTAL NOTE  FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY  TOP and BOTTOM LUG FREQUENCY 

10″  3D  147 Hz  257 Hz (= 147 x 1.75) 
12″  2B  124 Hz  217 Hz (= 124 x 1.75) 
14″  2G  98 Hz  172 Hz (= 98 x 1.75) 
16″  2D  73.4 Hz  128 Hz (= 73.4 x 1.75) 
High Resonance: With the bottom head tuned higher, multiply the frequency of the desired fundamental note by 1.85 and tune the bottom head lugpitch to that frequency. Then tune the top head lugpitch to about 1.5 times the fundamental frequency. Then, measure the fundamental pitch of the drum and adjust the pitch of the top head until it equals the desired frequency. For high resonance with the bottom head tuned lower, simply switch the numbers in the two columns.
TOM SIZE  FUNDAMENTAL NOTE  FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY  TOP LUG FREQUENCY  BOTTOM LUG FREQUENCY 

10″  3D  147 Hz  221 Hz (= 147 x 1.5)  272 Hz (= 147 x 1.85) 
12″  2B  124 Hz  186 Hz (= 124 x 1.5)  229 Hz (= 124 x 1.85) 
14″  2G  98 Hz  147 Hz (= 98 x 1.5)  181 Hz (= 98 x 1.85) 
16″  2D  73.4 Hz  110 Hz (= 73.4 x 1.5)  136 Hz (= 73.4 x 1.85) 
Medium Resonance: Follow the instructions in the preceding paragraph using 2.0 times and 1.4 times the fundamental frequency instead of 1.85 and 1.5 times.
TOM SIZE  FUNDAMENTAL NOTE  FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY  TOP LUG FREQUENCY  BOTTOM LUG FREQUENCY 

10″  3D  147 Hz  206 Hz (= 147 x 1.4)  294 Hz (= 147 x 2) 
12″  2B  124 Hz  174 Hz (= 124 x 1.4)  248 Hz (= 124 x 2) 
14″  2G  98 Hz  137 Hz (= 98 x 1.4)  196 Hz (= 98 x 2) 
16″  2D  73.4 Hz  103 Hz (= 73.4 x 1.4)  147 Hz (= 73.4 x 2) 
Low Resonance: Follow the same instructions using 2.3 and 1.2 times the fundamental frequency instead of 1.85 and 1.5 times.
TOM SIZE  FUNDAMENTAL NOTE  FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY  TOP LUG FREQUENCY  BOTTOM LUG FREQUENCY 

10″  3D  147 Hz  176 Hz (= 147 x 1.2)  338 Hz (= 147 x 2.3) 
12″  2B  124 Hz  149 Hz (= 124 x 1.2)  285 Hz (= 124 x 2.3) 
14″  2G  98 Hz  118 Hz (= 98 x 1.2)  225 Hz (= 98 x 2.3) 
16″  2D  73.4 Hz  88 Hz (= 73.4 x 1.2)  169 Hz (= 73.4 x 2.3) 
Snare Drum Tuning
Most 14″ diameter snare drums sound good with a fundamental pitch in the range of 3E to 3A#. Some drummers like to have the fundamental pitch of their snare in the same interval relationship as their toms while others like to set it independently; it’s really a matter of personal preference.
A good pitch relationship for the drum heads is to tune the lug pitch of the bottom head a perfect fifth higher than the top head (1.5 times higher in frequency, see Appendix). This combination works well for a couple of reasons: a higherpitch resonant head helps minimize snare buzz and a lowerpitch batter head avoids choking the drum. When tuning to higher fundamental pitches, eg., above 3G, It’s a good idea to keep the resonant head from exceeding a lugfrequency of 400 Hz, to avoid stretching or choking; typical resonant heads are only 3 mils. thick and can easily deform. In these cases simply reduce the size of the interval to perfect fourths or major thirds (1.33 or 1.26 respectively) or lower, to keep the resonant head from getting too high in lug pitch.
Recommendations
Suggested top and bottom (batter and resonant) head lug tuning frequencies for a typical 14″ snare drum are listed below. Depending on the specific drum, and the thickness of the drum heads, the required frequencies may vary so try these as a starting point and adjust accordingly.
FUNDAMENTAL NOTE  INTERVAL  TOP LUG FREQUENCY  SNARE LUG FREQUENCY 

3E  Perfect Fifth  229 Hz  343 Hz 
3F  Perfect Fifth  240 Hz  359 Hz 
3F#  Perfect Fifth  252 Hz  378 Hz 
3G  Perfect Fifth  266 Hz  398 Hz 
3G#  Perfect Fourth  299 Hz  398 Hz 
3A  Major Third  318 Hz  400 Hz 
3A#  –  356 Hz  400 Hz 
Bass Drum Tuning
A lot of factors go into tuning your bass drum such as, the type of heads, use of cutouts or kickports in the resonant head and the type of damping, eg., a pillow in the drum etc. A good starting point is to tune the lugfrequency of the resonant head a perfect fifth (1.5 times) higher in frequency than the batter head. Some people prefer the opposite while others prefer the heads closer in lugfrequency; again, a matter of personal preference and some experimentation may pay off.
DIAMETER  FUNDAMENTAL NOTE  BATTER LUG FREQUENCY  RESONANT LUG FREQUENCY 

24″  1C  49 Hz  74 Hz 
24″  1C#  52 Hz  78 Hz 
2224″  1D  55 Hz  82 Hz 
22″  1D#  58 Hz  87 Hz 
22″  1E  61 Hz  91 Hz 
20″  1F  64 Hz  96 Hz 
20″  1F#  68 Hz  101 Hz 
18″  1G  71 Hz  107 Hz 