Ringing Drums

by Jesse Ramirez

Ive been playing for about 4 years and just got my first acoustic kit in December. Its a Gretsch Catalina Maple. 2 mounted toms, 2 floor toms, snare. They all still have the original Gretsch heads on them. Until I get some new heads, can you suggest some ways to reduce the ringing of the toms and snare?
Usually when I hit the snare It'll cause the toms and sometimes my cymbals to ring. Any help for me?

Answer

Hi, Jesse--

Congratulations on your new drum set! It sounds like a nice kit. The ringing problems that you describe are very common. There are a couple of things you can do:

1) Since the ringing seems to occur in drums other than the one you are striking, it sounds like you need to tune the drums. The reason you are getting the ringing is because of "sympathetic vibration".
That is, the resonances of the drums are interacting. A slight retuning will probably do wonders for the problem.

With regard to you cymbals, try changing the angle a bit and experiment until the ringing stops.

2) Muffle the drums that still ring. This would primarily take care of the ringing that occurs when you hit a drum and THAT drum rings. It may also help with the sympathetic vibration. There is a discussion of muffling at this location on the site: Tuning Drums.

Good Luck with your playing and let me know if this helps!

Lynne

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