Best Snare Wood by Genre

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.

Noise Control: Happy Neighbors = Happy Drummer

Noise Control: Happy Neighbors = Happy Drummer

As many of us have encountered, the biggest reason for not buying a drum set (or alternatively, playing your drum set) is the NOISE! Well, that excuse won’t work anymore. Companies have recognized this barrier and continue to use modern technology to develop more ways for us to control the noise on our drums so we can play anytime and anywhere our heart desires. To feed the drum kit playing need, here are some things to consider when you are shopping for a drum set or get that late night craving to play your kit. Keep in mind these are just a few options that I personally recommend, but that there are many other ways to lower the volume of your drums and with time, I have no doubt more options will continue to emerge. Hopefully these are helpful methods that can help you convince yourself or someone else that buying a drum set and playing it won’t bring a headache to everyone around you J

Electric Drum Set ($300 – $8000)

This is the obvious choice at first glance when it comes to buying a drum set that you plan on playing in a small apartment. Electric drum sets are amazing. Keep in mind however that they are nothing close to the amazing feeling it is to sit behind and play an acoustic drum set. Nevertheless, they give you all the basics of a drum set but with the option of using headphones so only you can hear your drumming.

PROS:

– Recording is very easy

– You can play around with different kits and sounds

– Allows for use of headphones or an amp

– Takes up less space than acoustic drum set

– Volume control is very easy

CONS:

– Transitioning from electric to acoustic drums can be awkward

– You can still hear the sticks hitting the pads of the electric pads (depending on the model this can be loud for late night practice)

– The feel of the electric kits falls way short of an acoustic kit

-The high hat feels awkward.

REMO Silentstroke Drumheads ($100 for a 4 piece kit)

These drumheads were one of the main leaps in the market to allow drummers to play acoustic drums without the loud noise. The concept is simple; these drumheads are made out of a mesh material, similar to the ones used on Roland electric kits, and function like any other drum heads except that they are roughly 20 times more silent than a typical drumhead. The cool thing about these is that they still retain the tone of the drum so you can hear the difference between playing a snare, the high, low tom, and kick drum.   You only need to put these on one side of the drum, not both the resonant and batter head. Keep in mind these still leaves your cymbals at regular volume.

PROS:

  • Allow you to play an acoustic kit and maintain tonality and feel
  • Affordable alternative to electric drum set
  • You can put it on the resonant side of the drum and flip the drum around every time you want to practice silently
  • These do not need tuning, just slightly tighten them

CONS:

  • Constantly taking these on and off takes up time and becomes a burden
  • Leaving it on the resonant side can make the drums sound odd when playing a standard drum head on the batter side
  • The bounce of the head is not identical to a standard drumhead
  • *****Cymbals are still loud – you would also need to purchase silent cymbals (i.e. Zildjian L80 or Generation 16), which can be pricy******

Aquarian Super Pad Drum Mute and Practice Pad (Roughly $50.00/pad)

Aquarian has recently launched a serried of Super Pad Drum Mutes that can serve as mutes for the drum kit, as well as practice pads. These silencer heads strap onto the drums and produce an almost completely muted sound. At the same time they also still allow the snare wires to function so you can hear the variation between the snare and the toms/kick drum, although not quite as distinctly as you can with the silentroke heads mentioned above. These are a slightly more expensive alternative, but you don’t have to worry about changing drumheads all the time and you can also use them as practice pads.

PROS:

  • Function as mutes as well as practice pads
  • Easy and quick to strap on and off the drums
  • Virtually mute the drum kit completely

CONS:

  • Feel is more like that of a practice pad than drum set
  • *****Cymbals are still loud – you would also need to purchase silent cymbals (i.e. Zildjian L80 or Generation 16), which can be pricy******

    Mahru Madjidi