DAY 3 – Theory

1.How much to stretch the snare strings?

The snare drum sounds nice without strings, as you know. Most often, however, the strings are turned on (stretched).

How much you pull the strings depends on your musical taste.

Strong strings tension ensures greater selectivity – every impact on the snare drum is legible and precisely audible, as the strings ring briefly and interrupt.

However, the snare drum suffocates when the strings are tightened too much – the instrument does not sound full, like a man who has a lump in his throat and it is hard to take a breath and speak to him.

Looser strings tension provides more space – the snare drum gets more „natural reverb”, the sound stretches more, which is often beneficial because it intensifies the sound.

Check yourself how strong the tension of the strings works fine for you, because each snare drum is different, a lot depends on the type and quality of the strings, the type of drum heads and the music you play (the bottom snare’s drumhead should be stretched strongly so that the strings carry vibration well).

2.Snare muffling – why to muffle and how?

Snare muffling improves its sound because it eliminates unwanted buzz and musical „dirt”.

There are many different types of mufflers on the market. The first group are accessories applied on the snare drum (felt, material, jellies, and even a wallet that many drummers use, because the snare drum sounds good with the wallet placed on it).

The second way is to muffle the snare drum using a plastic (or paper) rim – the easiest way is to buy a ready rim or cut it yourself from an old snare drumhead (the thickness of the rim is a few, up to several centimeters). The muffling rim ensures even sound of each side of the snare.

Another, easiest way is to suppress the snare drum (and volumes) with adhesive tape. Just stick a piece of tape to the snare surface and see how the sound changes. Try several pieces of tape in different places.

Mr Muff – one of snare drum muffling accessories
Muffling ring cut from old snare drumhead
The simplest way – muffling with adhesive tape

3.Traditional Grip – a classic and jazz drumstick grip.

This grip was born in marching orchestras, in which the drummer walking down the street with a snare drum hung around his neck, had the instrument tilted to one side, so from the side where the snare drum was higher he had to hold the stick differently to play comfortably.

Currently, this grip is mainly used by jazz musicians, but not only.

Playing the drum set, you hold the stick with a „snare hand”, i.e. the left one if you are right-handed.

Simply put, you grab the stick in such a way that it rests between the thumb (about 1/3 of the length of the stick from its end) and the second and third, and the fourth and fifth finger.

The second and third fingers wrap the stick and are „reaching” fingers, give strength and set the stick in motion (except the wrist, which also moves, driving the stick).

This technique has its advantages (the fingers are more strongly engaged, thanks to which you gain speed, but also the softness of the hitting, but at the expense of strength, which, in principle, is less than with typical symmetrical stick grip (match grip).

It is also good to develop this technique too, so try playing the traditional grip technique sometimes.

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