How many lugs on a snare drum typically? How many drum lugs should there be on a snare drum? What are the pros and cons of having fewer drum lugs? What are the pros and cons of having more drum lugs? Drum lugs are essential hardware for any part of a drum kit, as it would be impossible to tune a snare drum without any drum lugs. So, if you are curious about the importance of drum lugs in a snare drum, now you will know the truth about them.
So, what is a lug? A lug is a piece of tuning hardware that is attached to the shell of the drum. The tension rod screws into the drum lug for it to pull the hoop tighter and to be able to tighten the drum head. A drum lug also houses the spring and the small screw that was purposely designed to hold very high tensions.
Drum lugs are usually made of die-cast metal like steel, while some are also made of aluminum/zinc alloy, which is also durable. In its history, there have been many designs of drum lugs that were invented, like tube lugs, single-ended lugs, and double-ended lugs. Nowadays, most snare drums sold in the market come with double-ended snare drum lugs.
Usually, snare drums have ten drum lugs, but you can find older snare drums that have six or eight drum lugs, while there are also new designs of snare drums that have twelve drum lugs. There are reasons why manufacturers use a different number of drum lugs in their snare drums, and we are now going to find out why that is.
Snare Drum With Six Lugs
Snare drums with six lugs usually get a bad reputation from drummers, as we know that with more lugs, there is a better distribution of tension in the drum head, which allows you for better tuning. If you prefer to have a high tuning with your snare drums, then it will really be difficult for you to achieve it in a snare drum with six lugs.
In the old days, snare drums with six lugs were usually advertised by their manufacturers as a perfect snare drum for students, and they also sold at a more affordable price compared to other snare drums. Six-lug snare drums are harder to crank up, as there is a possibility that they will warp if you force it, as it can hold very high tensions.
Nowadays, you can still see a snare drum that has six lugs; however, this design is usually in snare drums with smaller diameters as they can have a better distribution of the tension rather than in standard sizes.
One reason that drummers sometimes like to use a six-lug snare drum is that it has an open sound and, if tuned low, can still sound great, especially if you use it while playing rock songs. Six-lug snare drums have a distinct tone of their own, which is why there are still some drummers who prefer to use a six-lug snare drum.
Pros And Cons Of Using A Snare Drum With Eight Lugs
For a snare drum with eight lugs, there are still some issues with its tuning; especially if you want it to be higher, as similar to six lugs, it is also a bit difficult to tune them higher because of the distribution of the tension. An eight-lug snare drum also tends to produce a wider range of overtones, which can be annoying for some drummers, depending on their preference.
There are still some positives in using a snare drum with eight lugs. Neil Peart, the drummer of the famous rock band Rush, uses an eight-lug snare drum, while one of the most popular snare drums in history, the legendary Slingerland Radio King, also has eight lugs. Most of the classic snare drums made by Ludwig have eight lugs.
An eight-lug snare drum is more resonant and easier to tune if you know how to deal with them. There are still many snare drums, especially with Ludwig, with eight lugs, and they are also very expensive.
Using A Snare Drum With Ten Lugs
Nowadays, most of the snare drums you can find in every local music store or online store have ten lugs. Many drummers prefer this kind of setup as the snare drum produces a crisp sound and has more control than other snare drums. You can tune this snare drum tighter, and they stay in tune better as it can hold the tension better than snare drums with lesser lugs.
The only negative side of a ten-lug snare is that there are more lugs that you should tweak to tune your drums, and with more lugs, it also takes away the finish of the snare drum, which is an aesthetical issue only.
When it comes to playing that requires your snare drum to be tuned very high, it is highly recommended for you to use a snare drum that has ten lugs.
Pros And Cons Of Using A Snare Drum With Twelve Lugs
Snare drums with twelve lugs are a rarity in the market, but you can still see some of them made as an additional option for drummers. They are known to have a better sensitivity and articulation and also have a very wide dynamic range. One of its issues is that it is a little bit difficult to tune because the number of lugs can be a little bit confusing, especially if you prefer to have a pattern in tuning a snare drum.
So, how many lugs on a snare drum? Usually, these days, manufacturers prefer to have their snare drums to have ten lugs as they seem to hold the tension better, but there are still snare drums that have six or eight lugs, as they also have a distinct sound compared to other snare drums. Recently, there have been newer designs of snare drums that come with twelve lugs.