Instructables

How to Make an Effects Snare Drum

Picture of How to Make an Effects Snare Drum
One can never utulize too many sounds when trying to get creative with their drumset. Effects cymbals, accessories, elecronics all give you more options when you need them. If you have an extra snare drum that you dont regularly play with the rest of your kit, there are ways to turn this into an effects drum that will give you tons of possible sound combinations.

What follows is a guide that I hope will help you think outside the box when creating an effects drum, as there are numerous different sounds that you can achieve. Most of these can be made with things sitting around your house, so you dont have to shell out to spruce up your snare.

Possible Items Needed:
spring(s)
tambourine
bottle caps
rubber bands
guitar string
vibrating mechanism
imagination

Also check out some of my other drum instructables:
Drum Tuning
Cymbal Polishing
Cymbal Repair
 
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Step 1: Getting Good Head(s)

The first choice to consider is making sure that you pick the right drumhead for your personalized effects snare. Of course, just about any head will do, but if you really want to go crazy, there are special heads that will give you a unique sound. For example, Evans makes a few snare batter heads that have between 15 and 20 small holes around the edge of the head. While these are meant to increase air flow and effect the attack when you strike a drum, you can use these holes to your advantage, inserting and stringing things through them to create an interesting sound. Just off the top of my head the Evans Genera Dry Snare Batter Head and ST Dry Coated Snare Head will both do the trick. There may be others made by Evans, or Remo, or Aquarian, but im not aware of any.

You can also try experimenting with various other head types. For example, try getting a super heavy duty head like the Aquarian Hi-Energy or a marching snare head. These will change the character of your attack, and while adding an interesting new sound to your kit, and may also influence what drumheads you buy in the future for your everyday snare.

Another thought that I have been meaning to try is to get a calfskin or a mylar fiberskyn head for your snare. Granted, this probably isnt a good idea if you are a heavy hitter or are playing rock, but if you have a pair of multirod sticks like the Pro Mark Hot Rods and want to experiment a little, you could end up achieving a pretty cool sound.

Other options for head choice include trying a different kind of resonant head on the bottom. I have experimented with this a couple of times, and I usually never liked the sound I got from using anything but a extra-thin or hazy snare side head, but who knows, maybe you will.

Basically, it all comes down to what you are trying to get out of your second snare. If you are looking for something that you can use in your everyday playing that gives you a little more choice when reaching to hit a snare, you can play it conservatively and just experiment with different head, snare wire, and dampening combos until you find one that not only sounds good, but adds depth to the arsenal of drums that you use. On the other hand, if you want to go all out and dream up some crazy beast that makes drummers and non-drummers alike sit and think, "what the hell is that thing?" then check out some of the tips I offer on the next page.
something i thought up: find metal beads and put them on strings and tape them so that there in the middle of your snare so when you hit your kit or do a single stroke roll it will sound like a doublestroke roll
Nice idea!
dsman1952765 years ago
man i was going to do this... good job anyway.
drums787 (author)  dsman1952765 years ago
ha, sorry man. any ideas to add?
no, i was really going to make a instructable on how to play the snare drum, when i saw this first this.
Very Good! Lots of interesting ideas to experiment with. Thanks Joe