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can i build a proper sounding snare/drum without using a proper skin? maybe a replacement of wood?

is it possible to make a proper sounding drum\snare with a wooden top instead of skin? is it possible to replace the skin with someting more readily available? buying a whole it is way too expensive for an unemployed schoolchild;'(, i have experience with woodwork, i just dont know what to use, all the drum instructibles/ tutorials sort of assume that you have lots of money to spend on the parts.
if anyone has made a drum before out of junk i would love it if i could hear all about it:D

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kelseymh7 years ago
No.  To get the proper vibrations, you need a flexible material.  Wood is too rigid, even in "thin" sheets.  You could try using rubber or butadene, but it won't sound the same.

As with any musical instrument, the sound quality is derived from the full spectrum of frequencies produced (multiples fundamentals, harmonics, beat frequencies etc.).  That spectrum is dominated by the properties of the materials used in construction.  If you change the material, you will change the sound.

+1
"Proper" sounding, no. "Interesting" sounding is a distinct possibility.

Absolutely!  The author seemed to be trying to reproduce existing "snare drums."  But if the goal is a new instrument, you are quite right.
Kind of makes me wonder if a snare head made of metal or glass could work, maybe with snares made of ball chain... Maybe with a hunk of heavy-duty  inner tube rubber as the top drumhead? It could be laced on like a djembe instead of investing in all the hardware...

Dammit. Another project on the pile.
et334 (author)  RavingMadStudios7 years ago
hmmm maybe i should change my question to how to make an interesting sounding instrument out of scrap that can produce a variety of sounds maybe even simple melodies:)
You should check out some videos of Blue Man Group. Those guys have some extremely interesting instruments made out of some very odd things.
Amen to that.
et334 (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
i realized when i read the question again that i wasnt thinking like a maker but like a copycat.
thanks for the reply, my question was a bit silly i realized i was just curious at the time and curiousity overrides basic logic:)
kelseymh et3347 years ago
Not silly at all!  Curiosity is what drives Makers.  Your question brought up some good discussions, didn't it?
orksecurity7 years ago
Artificial drumheads are not expensive, durable, and the better ones sound pretty darned good. (Remo's fiberskin is the one I have experience with; I believe there are direct competetors.)
et334 (author)  orksecurity7 years ago
artificial drumheads? google time, the biggest problem i have is that im in SA and ordering off the net is still in embryotic stages, the stores here are good but only sell first rate high quality imported stuff:/ which is good for someone with an income but high school doesnt pay:)
thanks for the answer