Questions about drum skin and toms


New member
My floor tom is a bit screwed up. It has a higher pitch than the mid tom. Fiddled with it a bit and it sounds slightly lower now. For FTs, I prefer lower tones, slightly higher than bass.

Now they say that 80% of the sound comes from the skin. So if I change the skin of my FT would it help to make it sound lower? I read that double-ply drum skins have deeper sounds. How much are the skins? My FT is 14 inches btw. Does the bottom skin matter that much as well?
Hey there,

Floor toms can be difficult to master. Here is a trick I use to make it sound low and FAT.

Get yourself a decent double ply head like a Remo Pinstripe Clear or a Remo Emperor coated (for a deeper "less resonant" sound) About $30 I think???

Place the new head on the drum shell, then put on the rim and the tension rods (screws) and tighten each lug from opposite ends with your fingers (not a drum key yet) when you have gone around make sure that each laug is as tight as you can do with your fingers only.

Then push the palm of your hand in the middle of the skin to stretch it, as hard as you can. (it wont break, trust me) then finger tighten again.

Now with your key turn each rod 1/2 a turn like doing a car tyre (1-4-2-5-3-6) or (1-5-3-7-4-8-2-6) then push skin again. Turn each rod 1/4 turn in same sequence.

then tap the drum and make sure each lug has the same pitch and adjust up or down accordingly.

Flip the drum over and repeat the process again with the bottom head. The trick is to get a similar pitch to the top if not slightly higher. then hit it and see what you think.If you dont like it try experiment with the same method usin different turns with your key but keep it consistant


Any other questions just ask me. :D
hey frozen
because thicker heads will resonate slower than a thinner head, the tone will sound lower and softer. therefore changing the head will do its bit to drop the tone. i like remo ambassadors on the top for feel, attack and resonance with thinner heads (e.g., remo diplomats) on the bottom. but like you, i like the floor toms to sound low, to give a 'thud' almost like a kick drum. i get that sound spending a bit of time tuning... try tuning the top and bottom heads to be the same pitch, both just a little more than finger tight then start to tighten up from there. if the drum is mounted or on legs, take it down and tune it on your knee or on the floor. if i can, i'll tune the heads to the fundamental timbre of the drum (the note you hear by taking the heads off, resting the drum with your hand on the inside and using the base of your fist to hit it... you'll get a 'doong' type sound that you can match to a note on a keyboard). something i from a clinic with john goode from DW... hope this helps
Thats cool slider,

I actually do the knee thing as well which I forgot to mention.

Sliders method and choice of heads is really good too, depending on how hard you hit your drums. if you dont hit so hard, sliders choice of heads is great. It really lets the drum resonate on its own. Coated Ambassadors sound great too. I used them once in the studio but they lasted just one session. They record great though. BUT
If you are a heavy hitter like me then double ply heads are the way to go because they are more durable.

God I love drums!! there is just so many ways to make them sound cool.

As you can see frozen there are many different methods, you just have to experiment and see which is right for you.
Whoa, thanks a lot. This is more than I expected for a reply. I got the hang of tuning already but thanks for the extra tips as well. :)

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