How to Change Bass Drum Heads

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Most beginning drummers avoid changing bass drum heads at all costs, even if it means a terrible-sounding drum kit. Some will even tape over puncture holes in the drum head to avoid taking the thing off. This is not a completely unwarranted fear, but just like learning a complicated drum fill, changing and tuning you bass drum head takes a lot of practice but will soon become second nature.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 New bass drum head
  • 1 Tuning key
  • Determine the right replacement head for your needs. Most rock drummers use pinstripe heads because they are more durable, as opposed to white-coated and clear heads that have a warmer sound but ultimately wear faster than pinstripe drum heads. You need to know the exact size of your bass drum. Most kick drums range from 20 to 26 inches in diameter.

  • Remove the batter side head by removing each lug either by hand or with a drum key. Turn each lug counter clockwise until you can easily remove the drum head. As you remove the head, alternate between lugs. For instance, if you start loosening a lug at the top of the bass drum, don't loosen the lug that is next to it. Instead, loosen the lug that is diagonal across from it on the opposite side of the drum. This allows the head to be tightened evenly and will prevent tuning problems later on.

  • Remove the ring that held the bass drum head in place and set it aside, then dispose of the old head. Clean out any debris from inside the bass drum. Debris might effect the sound of your bass drum.

  • Hold the new bass drum head firmly in place over the bass drum, then place the metal ring around the bass drum to hold it in place while you fasten the drum head. To tighten down the drum head, repeat Step 2, but turn the lugs clockwise until the drum head is evenly tightened.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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