How to choose drum skins

Artist Guitars

The type of head (or skin) you put on your drum will affect the way it sounds and responds to your sticks. So it is important to match the right head with the style of music you like to play. Here at Artist we offer the most common types of drum heads m

The type of head (or skin) you put on your drum will affect the way it sounds and responds to your sticks.  So it is important to match the right head with the style of music you like to play.  Here at Artist we offer the most common types of drum heads made from high quality Dupont® Mylar (a super strong polyester material), at a very reasonable price.

Drum heads come in single or double ply (sometimes hydraulic because of the layer of oil between the layers).  These different thicknesses can come in clear or coated (batter).  And to confuse this further, all of these are available with or without a sound focus ring.

Here are some characteristics of the drum head types:
 

Single Ply
  • Very responsive
  • Less durable
  • More overtone (ring out)
  • Best used for dynamic playing (soft playing)
Double Ply
 
  • Less responsive
  • More durable
  • Less overtone, more note sustain
  • Best used at high volumes
Sound focus ring
 
  • Allows the responsiveness of the single ply head but with reduced overtones.
Clear
 
  • Greater attack (the initial spike in volume when you hit the drum)
Coated
 
  • Earthy sounding and slightly muffled compared with clear heads.
  • Slightly reduced overtones.
Ebony
  • (Black) Similar properties to a clear head - Fast attack
  • Generally only used on kick drums, but some drummers like the look of them on snare drum and toms.

 

 


Combining heads:
Any of these heads can be used on top (batter) or bottom (resonant).  The choice is entirely up to the player, though generally coated heads are used primarily for top heads.
 

 

 

  • For a rock sound with very little overtone, try double ply heads on top and bottom. This will be less responsive to softer playing because of the thickness of the heads - they need to be hit hard!
  • For a jazz sound, try the opposite - single ply top and bottom. This will be very responsive to soft and loud playing as the heads are thinner. It's important to note that using this set up will give more overtones and require more attention to tuning.
  • These are the two extremes, so setting you drum up with a combination of plies will give a sound somewhere in between the "overtoney", responsive drum and a "notey", phat sounding drum.
  • Snare drums are usually set up with a batter head on top and a very thin, clear head specially made for snare side. It needs to be thin to pick up the smallest of vibrations and transfer them to the snare wires.
  • A great place to start is to go for one of our great value packs.  These are matched in a set of 3, 4 or 10 - for an entire head overhaul!

 



 Thanks for reading our report, to give you even more content check our pages below:
 
I hope this short summary has helped, if you need any assistance please email:

sales@artistguitars.com.au or call us on 0800 025 467


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