Why are snare drums so loud? How does a snare produce its sound? Are there things that I can do to make my snare drum sound louder? How can I make my snare drum sound quieter? Snare drums are known to produce a sharp sound, but some people are still curious about how they produce their very loud sound, so if you are one of them, now you will know what goes on in a snare drum and why it can produce a loud sound.
The snare drum is widely known as a musical instrument that can produce a sharp staccato sound when its drum head is struck using a drumstick because of the stiff wires held under tension against the resonant drum head. Snare drums are widely used in concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, parades, drum corps, and many more. It is one of the most important pieces in a drum kit.
With the sensitivity of a snare drum, it can respond audibly even with the softest strokes using a wire brush. It can also be used for creating complex rhythmic patterns and drum solos at moderate volumes. The snare drum’s very high dynamic range allows it to produce very powerful accents with energetic strokes and a thundering crack that can reach up to 120 decibels when rimshot strokes are executed.
When you hit the batter head of the snare drum, the resonant head vibrates in tandem, resulting in the stimulation of the snares and the production of the cracking sound. Aside from drumstick, you can also use other forms of beater like brushes, rute, or even your hands, as it can also produce a vibration from the snare wires.
How To Make Your Snare Drum To Sound Quieter
Playing the drum kit can usually really be loud, as it is already a musical instrument known for producing high volumes. The snare drum, which is part of a drum kit, is also one of its loudest components that can even reach 90 decibels up to 120 decibels. Although snare drums can be really loud when struck by a drumstick, you can still make some adjustments to make it sound quieter.
The first thing you can do to make your snare drum sound quieter is to change its batter head into a mesh drum head. Mesh drum heads are known to reduce the volume of the drums drastically, as this is the best way to make your snare drum go quieter than before.
Mesh drum heads are usually used in electronic drum kits, but you can still use them to replace the batter head of your snare drum. Mesh drum heads are made of plies of woven material like fabric. They are available in a different number of plies, as there are mesh drum heads that are single-ply, two, or three-plies. The single-ply mesh head is widely known for its volume reduction, while it also allows for a better rebound with the drumsticks.
You can still hear some amount of volume when you hit the mesh head of your snare drum, especially if you prefer not to replace its resonant drum head. If you feel that you are urged to practice your rudiments, but you are concerned with the loud sound of your snare drum that you do not want to disturb anybody, then you should change your drum head with a mesh head.
Another thing you can do to your snare drum to reduce its produced volume is to place some drum dampening on it. These dampeners can be in the form of soft rubber pads, gels, gaff tapes, or plastic rings. Usually, using the rubber pads is the most effective in making your snare drum sound quieter as you can place it above the drum head, resulting in dampening the volume of the snare drum.
Dampeners like moon gels, gaffer tape, and O-rings can also reduce the volume of the snare drum in a lesser way compared to the rubber pads, as their primary purpose is to remove the overtones and ringing of the snare drums. However, if you use plenty of it, then it can still reduce the volume of the snare drums.
The next thing you can do to lower the volume of your snare drums is to use lighter sticks, rods, or brushes. Using these types of sticks can greatly reduce the volume produced by your snare drum. Thinner drumsticks can give lesser force to your snare drum, resulting in a reduced volume, while using rods can produce a different sound but still have a lesser volume compared to standard-size drumsticks.
Although using brushes with your usual drumsticks can feel a little different from the usual, if you really need to tone down the volume of your snare drum, then it is a great way to do it. Aside from the fact that when you hit the snare drum using it that it barely rebounds, it is also very quiet.
The last thing you can do to make your snare drum quieter is that you will not have some control over the way you hit the snare drum, also known as the dynamic control. If you have great control over how soft you hit the snare drum, it will result in a reduced volume from your snare drum, while it also makes you a better overall drummer.
How To Make Your Snare Drum To Sound Louder
If the shell of your snare drums is made of brass or steel, then it is not a problem to make it sound louder as they are known to be louder compared to other snare drums in that their shells are made of a variety of woods.
If you think that your snare drum should still sound louder, then you can still make some adjustments to it so it can produce a louder sound than before. The first thing you can do is to replace its drum head with a thicker and clear drum head. Thicker and clear drum heads are known to have a louder attack and are also slightly brighter.
The second thing you can do is to frequently hit the drum head of the snare drum in the middle. You have to be accurate in doing this, but you can notice that every time you hit it in its center, it gives the loudest volume compared to the other parts of the batter head.
The third thing you can do is change your drumsticks from standard to larger sizes. The larger and heavier the drumsticks you use in playing, the louder the volume your snare drums produce. You can notice that genres like rock and metal have the drummers usually use larger drum sticks, as these genres are known to have louder volumes.
Lastly, you can improve your dynamic control with how hard you hit your snare drum. Even if you have the perfect snare drum to produce a louder sound, if you still hit it softly, then it will still sound very quiet. So, the way you hit your snare drum is still important to have the snare drum sound louder.
So, why are snare drums so loud? Snare drums are designed to be loud as they produce a sharp and bright sound when struck by a drumstick. There are ways that you can make a snare drum quieter, but you can also make it louder in a lot of ways.