Tuning your drum can be a tricky process, especially since the tuning process will differ slightly depending on the type of drum you have. However, in most cases you’ll find there are a few standard steps that you have to keep track of.
The first step should always be to prepare the head for installation and set it up. It’s important to note that a modern drum is equipped with two heads: the batter and resonant head. Both of these have to be set up properly before the drum can be tuned. For that purpose, make sure to loosen all the drum set tension rods and then tap the shell to find its resonant frequency. Finally, twist the hoop until all the tension rods are upright and center.
Next, you have to work on tuning the tension rods in order to tension the head. For that purpose, you can choose to skip one, two or three lugs depending on the type of drum you have, but it’s important to always aim for achieving equally tensioned pairs of tension rods across the head. Keep tensioning the rods until you can hear the resonant frequency of the shell when you tap the head.
Finally, it’s time to fine-tune the drum set by tapping the head close to each tension rod. That way, you will be able to check whether each rod is tensioned equally and make the necessary adjustments before you’re done.