Snare Drums Complete Guide
- Drum Sets

A Perfect Guide To Snare Drums

If you are going to ask a drummer about the most important element in his drum kit then the answer would be a snare drum. If you have ever heard some playing a drum set then you might have noticed that the snare drum’s sound is the most recognizable one. So the sound that can be recognized easily needs to be really good otherwise the flaws will be noticed immediately. People love experimenting with different types of snare drums. If you want to do the same or you are planning to buy a snare drum then you must know about them in detail. You can also try your hands on the professional drum kits reviews that already have everything of high-quality. 

playing snare drums

What is a snare drum?

A snare drum is a percussion instrument that will produce a sharp staccato sound when you will strike it with a drumstick. The sharp sound is due to the series of wires that are held under tension. When you strike the batter head the wires, in turn, strike the resonant head and themselves that produces the sound. The history of the snare drums is over 600 years old. Initially, they were called tabor. It was a wooden cylindrical tube with an animal skin fastened on one side. On the batter side, catgut was used. Now, the materials are replaced by plastic and metal.

metal snare drum

Snare Drum Sizes

When it comes to the depth and diameter it is obvious that you can find endless combinations. If you go on to buy a toddler drum set then the snare drums will be relatively small as compared to an adult drum set. Depending on the depth the snare drums are named as standard (4” to 6.5”), deep (7” to 10”), and piccolo (3” to 4.5”). The depth of the snare drums affects the body of the sound. So if the depth is high it would produce a fatter sound.

Similarly depending on the diameter, they are named as a soprano (12” to 13”), popcorn (10”), and standard (14”). Coming to the diameter, it would produce more of the crack sound. It is obvious because the distance between the snare wires and batter head will be more.

Snare Drum Materials

A lot of drummers don’t even know that the type of material used for manufacturing snare influences the sound produced. Here, we have mentioned the three materials majorly used.

Metal: If you want to love playing drums with bright tones then metal drums are good for you. Also, the sound sustains really long.

Wood: The wooden material itself has multiple variations. The drums could be made of beech, oak, maple, poplar, or another type of wood. These are known to work best for the bass and mids.

Acrylic: This material is mainly used in rock and funk as it produces fatter sound. Thus, most drummers don’t prefer it or you can say are not comfortable with it.

types of snare drum

Snare Drum Maintenance

There are some products that you should keep with you all the time for maintenance at your home. If you will use them then you can keep the drums in the new state for long.

Drum Keys: For tension adjustments its very important to keep drum keys with you. It is used on the tension rods that are located just above the lugs. You can use them for changing heads, returning the drums, kick drum pedal adjustment, and another purpose. Also, there are various types of drum keys available that serve a specific purpose.

Sandpaper: The fine-grit sandpaper will help you in maintaining the wooden drums. There bearing edge of the drums may become inconsistent with use. With sandpaper, you can wreck your drum so that it is at the same level throughout.

Steel Wool: For those with metal-shelled drums it is important to keep the fine steel wool. Using this tool you can remove the fine rust that has accumulated on the surface of drums. Also, you can polish your drums to ensure they stay in the same state for a long time. You can increase the lifespan of your favorite drum kit with this tool.

Lubricant: The graphite-based lubricants are important for the metal hardware in your drum set. If you are going to apply a lubricant then the stand will slide smoothly when you will have to adjust them. You must keep it away from the plastic parts.

Paraffin Wax: The use of paraffin wax on the bearing edge is an important maintenance tip you should consider using. The wax seals the drum head to the edge so that the head vibrates better. 


Here, we have shared the basics of the snare drums. It is important for the drummers to focus on each and every part of the drum set. After buying a kit you may have to change the snare drums as the sound might not be of your choice so without knowledge you can’t do it. You can even the drum kit setup ideas that we have shared to ensure you set them in the best way. If the information shared by us helps you then do share the information with us.

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