One question that we get asked a lot is what snare drum is best for a particular genre of music. This is sometimes difficult to answer for several reasons. First, music and sound is a matter of personal taste so pinpointing one drum for an entire genre is impossible. Second, we make unique one of a kind drums out of woods that no one else in the industry is using so the sounds made from these woods are unique and not always found in a particular genre. Many things go into making the sound you get from your drum such as drum heads among other things. We are concentrating on the wood that the snare is built out of because wood drums it what we do. That being said we are still going to try to answer!
Country music: Country music is interesting because drums were not an original part of country music culture. In fact bands that incorporated drums were considered “impure”. Drums were introduced to country around the 1960s. Country drummers like a full bodied “fat” sound for ballads in older country songs. The newer style of country music plays a lot like rock. The 14×7 maple or birch/maple is a good pick for country. Heart pine is also a good pick. It carries close to the same characteristics and tones because of the tight growth rings in the lumber. This vintage lumber was some of the virgin trees grown in Georgia in the days of our founding fathers.
Rock music: Rock music drumming is a broad area that incorporates lots of different styles like punk, classic, and heavy metal. Drums have been the backbone of rock music since the beginning of the genre providing a solid beat and rhythm to the music. These days with the advancement of drum sets they provide tonal, melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic shading. Black walnut provides a bright, high pitched that is great for this genre with the loud speakers and amp heads. Cherry works well for this genre as well. The harder the wood on the janka scale the better sound you will achieve for rock in our opinion.
Jazz music: Jazz drumming is a mixture of different cultures and their influences over time to Jazz music most notably the African influence. This influence was mostly about improvisation. Oak works nicely for jazz sounds because of the sensitivity of the snare sound you get with oak. You want a wood that will reflect the ghost notes in this genre. Oak is porous and works well for these sounds.
These are a few genres and the drums that we feel do well in those genres. This is by no means an all-inclusive list and as every musician knows bearing edges, shell thickness, drum head type, and size plays a role. The musicians and listeners personal preference also plays a big role. Leave a comment, Tell us your favorite drum for your genre and why.