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Arguably the most important drum, the snare drum is the backbeat of your setup. They come in a huge variety of different constructions and sizes, but most are 14" and much shallower than most toms. Snare drums usually range from 5-7" in depth, though some piccolo snares are 3-4" in depth. Snares have a wide variety of materials used, from woods like maple and birch to steel, brass, even acrylic. Tuning a snare drum takes a lot of expertise and experience. At My Music Supply, we want to find you the perfect snare drum to compliment your kit, your band, or a specific snare drum sound you're looking to produce. We even have all of the accessories - snare drum stands, snare drum sheet music, and a myriad of different kinds of snare drum heads. My Music Supply has got it all!
History of the Snare Drum
The snare drum origin story starts a very long time ago, around 1300 AD. Field-drum type snares called Tabors were used to send signals to one another on the battlefield. This lead to the first "marching" bands. Snare drums were seen later in the orchestra setting, where they obviously remaind today.
Types of Snares
What snare drum sound do you need? Do you want something punchy and bright? Low and warm? Whatever you're looking for, there's a perfect snare drum (or drums) out there for you. Generally speaking, the deeper the drum, the lower the pitch. Of course, you can also change pitch by putting more or less tension on a head. This is why piccolo snares give you a very high and responsive sound, where 7" deep snare drums will give a thundering tone. Snare drums, unlike toms and bass drums, come in many different types of metal. Metal snare drums project more and are louder drums. Brass snare drums give a really bright and projecting tone. Steel snare drums give a very nice and incredibly strong crack that cuts like nothing else. The Ludwig Surpraphonic is a common example of a steel snare drum.
Many snare drums feature wooden shells. They may not project as much as metal drums, but they give a nice warmth that metal just doesn't have (especially maple). There's almost no end to the different types of woods used in snare drums - maple, birch, walnut, cherry - the list goes on. Some of the denser woods (for example walnut) are a little closer to the sound of a metal drum. They're right in between. Maple, on the other hand, is going to be low and warm, and pretty far from a metal snare drum's tone.
At My Music Supply, we have one of the most diverse and interesting snare drum collections out there. We carry new drums from Mapex, Pearl, Gretsch, Yamaha and Sonor. We also keep a large collection of Used and Vintage snare drums. We have Vintage Ludwig Acrolites and Supraphonics in wonderful condition. We try to keep it interesting!
Mapex has an extensive line of snare drums in their flagship series, the Black Panther Design Lab. These 14 different snare drums all feature a cylinder-drive strainer and stainless steel snare wires that give them a great, crisp punch. There's the Phantom, made from birch and walnut, giving a very responsive drum a nice warm sound - the best of both worlds! The Cherry Bomb's cherry wood shell gives it a bright tone. The Blade and the Machete are both made of 1mm steel. These have a very open, bright, and loud sound. The Stinger is also made of steel, but it's a 5.5x10" drum, giving it a nice pop. The Brass Cat and Sledgehammer are both made of brass, giving brightness, but the sledgehammer is hammered. The dimpling of the shell in the snare drum gives a very focused and loud tone. The nomad is also a brass shell, but it's a 6x12" drum. A very thick wood drum, the Blaster is 10ply maple and walnut. It's also pretty deep, so you're going to get a thick, low, warm tone. Another hybrid, but with a much more common size shell is the Velvetone, a 5.5x14" maple/walnut hybrid shell. The Blaster is similar to the Fastback, which is just 6ply maple and 7x12". The Phatbob is 7x14" and has 10 thick plies of maple. The Black Widow is a standard maple snare, 5x14" with 6 plies. The retrosonic is a pure walnut shell, making it dark ans very ressponsive.