I’ve recently been getting quite a few requests to do a bass drum tuning video. Those of you guys that have seen my snare tuning and my tom tuning videos First of all, thanks for all of the e-mails that I’ve been getting. I’m really happy to hear that the videos have been helping you guys out and that your drums sound awesome now. But I guess a lot of you want to find out how I get my bass drum sound. So I’m going to go through this just like I went through the other ones. I’m going to show you step-by-step what’s going on. I’m going to teach you the relationship between the batter head and the resonate head. And hopefully by the end you’ll be able to get the exact bass drum sound that you’re looking for, whether you’re playing an 18″ or a 26″. Hopefully the tips that I show you will help you get that sound that you’re looking for. Okay? So, let’s get into this. I’ll show you how I do it and we’ll go from there. Okay, so a couple of things that you just need to know before we get started because it’s always a good idea to sort of understand the relationship between the batter head and the resonate head. Now, most of us that play most common styles of popular music pop, rock, jazz, funk, country, all of that stuff, We’re all generally trying to get the same generic bass drum sound out of our kick. We just want a nice, fat, [punches fist] tight, punch coming out of the bass drum. We’re not really trying to get any specific type of tone or tune it to any specific note or anything like that. You can if you want. Most of us don’t care because we know nobody’s really going to hear it anyways. We just want a nice [punches fist] fat [punches fist] punch when we hit our bass drum. So the one thing to remember as far as the batter head goes I guess, the 2 things I guess to remember is that the looser your batter head is, the more punch you’re going to get out of it. The tighter your batter head is, the more tone you’ll get. So, if you’re one of those guys that plays a lot of bebop jazz on smaller bass drums, you’re generally probably going to want to tune your batter head a little bit tighter because that’s just how to get that jazz tuning. And as far as the resonate head goes, or the logo head, the tighter your logo head is, again the more tone you’re going to get, the more sustain you’re going to get. And the looser your resonate head is, the less sustain you’re going to get. It’s just like a tom. It’s the same principle. If your front head is a lot looser, then what’s going to happen is it’s going to resonate a lot slower. And you won’t get the same amount of sustain. It’s just like when you’re tuning a tom, if you want to get more sustain out of a tom you tune the bottom head tighter It’s the same principle on the bass drum. The bass drum is basically just a tom turned sideways. It’s the same kind of tuning principles that apply to the bass drum when you think of it that way. So, keeping all that in mind if you’re going for a nice, tight [punches fist] bass drum sound. Like the ideal bass drum sound for me is an equal combination of punch and tone. I don’t want it to be just all dead slap. I like to get a little bit of a tone out of it. Like a low end kind of a tone out of it. And it really comes out you know, when it’s on stage and you put a mic in front of it. The mic will really pick up that low end. So you want to have that on there. At least, I do. So, I’m going to show you how I get that just by using a really simple sort of tuning method here. So, I guess we can start with [hits head] this top head. Now, whether you’re starting with a head that’s already on there and you’re just loosening it off and starting from scratch, or if you’re pulling a brand new head out of the box you want to start out the same way, basically. So stick the head on the shell. Put your hoop on. Put your claws on. And then, all the way around just go finger tight. Just so that you know that you’re starting at the same spot. And do that on both sides. Loosen everything off, and start at the same spot. Ok? The next thing you want to do that’s really important, especially if you’re starting with a new head, once you get it on there, you’re going to want to stretch it out. So, stick it on there. Give it a little CPR for a couple of seconds. Give it a nice stretch. You know you don’t have to do this for an hour, a couple of seconds is good to go. But just put some good pressure on that. on that head Stretch it out a little bit and just to make sure you’re starting out at the right spot. So the same method that I used to tune my batter head on the bass drum is much the same as as the method that I used to tune the toms. And, that I’m going to be using wrinkles to help me set this head where I want it to sit. Now as far as how to do that there’s a little rhyme that you can sort of say to yourself when you’re tuning this top head. All you got to remember is that you’re going to tune it flat, and turn it back. That’s it. Tune it flat and turn it back. I’m going to show you exactly what I mean. I’m going to take a drum key and we’re going to apply pressure to that head so we can create our wrinkles here. And here’s what you’re going to do: You’re going to take your drum key and while you’re keeping the pressure on there you’re going to take that, you’re going to turn it until that wrinkle goes flat and then you’re going to turn it slightly back just to bring a little bit of that wrinkle back. We’ll do that with another one. Turn it, tune it flat, and then turn it back. So while you’re keeping pressure on there you’re going to be able to see, when you turn that back, which is probably not going to amount to anymore then like a 1/4 turn, When you turn it back you’re going to see a little bit of that wrinkle pop back up And then just do that all the way around. Tune it flat, and turn it back. Just like that there. So it’s just a really slight wrinkle appearance that you’re basically going to create all the way around. So now I’m pressing down real hard on this head here and as I’m doing that I can see just a slight wrinkle all the way around the drum. Once you do that, this is done. Ok? It’s that quick. Again: Apply pressure, you’re going to see all your wrinkles around, Turn ’em flat and then turn it back about a 1/4 turn just to bring a little of that wrinkle back. Once you set that head here you have achieved what I call Maximum Thumpification The way this head is sitting right now you’re going to get the most thump that you can out of this top head. And you’d be surprised how loose this thing is. By the time you turn these back, I’m telling you these tension rods are going to be barely just a hair past finger tight. And that’s exactly where you want it. Ok? Remember that. MT Maximum Thumpification Remember that. I just made it up but it’s important anyway. Remember that, ok? So the top head’s done. What we can do now is flip it over and incidentally this is how I tune my bass drum. Like it’s never on it’s side like that. I always like to put it on its end and tune each head that way. It’s just easier to do. So now we’re going to do the front head. The front head is going to be a little different than the back. The resonate head what you’re going to end up doing is for those of y’all that remember the snare tuning video when I talked about keeping that resonate head nice and tight? It’s almost the same thing with the bass drum. Ok? A lot of people don’t know that if you tighten that resonate head of yours that’s where you’re going to get your tone from. You can actually, you can tune that tone up or tune it down to where you want Remember that mix I was saying earlier? When I talked about how my ideal bass drum sound is a good mix between thump and tone? Your tone comes from tightening your resonate head If it’s loose, if it’s too loose it’s just going to flap and stop. And you’re just not going to have a nice, full bass drum sound. And again, if you want that, that’s cool. Me? I like a good combination of both because it’s sounds really good when you stick a mic in there. You can hear that nice sort of full tone. So we’re going to do basically the same thing with the front head We’re going to start by applying pressure but the method is going to be different with this one because we’re going to tune it higher. So first, we just go all the way around and tune all of our wrinkles flat. Just like that there until they disappear. So now that they’re all flat and then from here, I’m just going to go around and with each one probably give it another good 2 1/2 to 3 turns And tune this front head right up. Again, not too tight. But, you got to remember that this thing is 20″ in diameter and if you’re working with a 22″ it’s going to be even better. Don’t worry about tuning it too tight. Ok? Because it’s a huge drum. It’s not going to end up sounding like a piccolo or nothing like that. You’re just going to end up getting a little more tone out of it. And don’t forget the batter head is really loose. So it’s not really going to affect the pitch so much of the drum because you’re still going to get that massive slap from that batter head. This is just going to help you get a little more of that full tone out of it. So…BOOM! That was it. I’m done the front one. If I take this now just let me tap a little bit Oh yeah! Grab me a little mallet And here we go OH! OH my gosh! Ridiculous. Ridiculous. OK, let’s talk about head selection for a second if you want to take full advantage of this particular tuning method It might be necessary for you to go out and spend at least 50 bucks on a good batter head. Preferably something with a built in either foam or felt muffle ring around the edge So the one that I have on here this is an Aquarian Super Kick 1 a Super Kick 2 would work just as fine. I find a Super Kick 1 resonates a little bit better because it’s a single ply as opposed to 2. So it take a little further advantage of the tone and the resonation. I used that on here. The Evans EMAD is fantastic for this particular type of tuning method. If you got a 22″ base drum with an Evans EMAD on it and you do this thing? Man, Sound guys are going to be asking you for your autograph after a sound check. It’s ridiculous. It’s a great, wicked sounding head. You can interchange the rings put a thicker one on there, put a thinner one on there to control the amount of muffling. If you’re a Remo guy, Remo has this head called the Power Stroke Pro which I this is really cool It also has a removable foam ring on there. So anyone of those will work just fine. If you got a high-end kit or if you got a really good quality intermediate kit which most of them are these days Ideally… the reason why I’m recommending these heads is because ideally in my opinion bass drums sound at their best when they’re empty. This particular drum here has nothing in it. My main kit, I’ve got nothing in the bass drum at all. I always try to achieve the best possible bass drum sound that I can get without putting anything inside the shell. Ok? If it’s necessary, and you need to use some kind of muffling try to use as little as possible. Pick up one of those little EMAD pillows or whatever, or get yourself a blanket and just fold it and lay it across the bottom. I’ve seen some kits for some reason, especially with the younger guys, they’ll take like 19 blankets and just stuff the bass drum with it. You don’t want to do that. You’re completely defeating the purpose of the drum. It’s just my little opinion just try to use as little dampening as possible inside the bass drum. And again, if you have to use some try to use as little as possible. Just so that you can get the most that you possibly can out of your bass drum. So, other than that, that’s about it. I mean this hopefully will help you out. If you’ve been having trouble tuning your bass drum, this method from start to finish you know, I was doing a lot of talking through there, but from start to finish on your own, shouldn’t take you any longer than 2 1/2 minutes to get a really great sound out of your bass drum. So, yeah, that’s about it. If you have any other questions Hit me up on the website or send me a message on here on my YouTube Channel And just let me know, let me know how you work out. Hopefully this works for you. And yeah, that’s about it. Good luck.