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FDP Forum / I'd Hit It! - Drums and Percussion / When do you change out heads?

Contributing Member


Jun 18th, 2012 11:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

When do you replace your batter heads? Six months? A year? Ever?

What about the res heads?

Contributing Member

Connecticut USA

Stompin' on the avenue by Radio City
Jun 18th, 2012 11:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

The only batter head I replace with any regularity is the snare’s — usually every 3-4 months, or more frequently if I notice a dent or any appreciable loss of coating.

I’ve had the same Pinstripe batter heads on my toms for over two years now. They continue to tune just fine, so I see no reason to spend the money.

I’ll only change out a resonant head if there’s damage to it.

Contributing Member


Jun 19th, 2012 09:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the help garp! I too have pinstripe batter heads on all of my toms. I really like the sound. I installed them after purchasing my used kit about 3 months ago. The bass and snare drum heads all appear to be the ones that came on the kit from the Tama factory. They still sound good to me. Back in the day, I was a heavy hitter, so I would change heads when they broke which was fairly often for my snare and rack toms. My heavy hitting days are behind me now but my main concern is that the heads will die a slow death and I may not notice. I don't want to play with dead heads.



Jun 20th, 2012 01:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

I replace them when they are toast… which back when I was gigging more often, over forty one year, it was every three or four months or so. But I was into it. Now that I’ve given up gigging and I only play drums at home, either to CD’s/MP3’s or when my mates come around for a jam… they last for ages.

I know they are toast when they no longer have the sustain and clear ringing tone of a good head. Old heads are flat sounding, one dimensional and have dead spots. If you take the tension out of them, they dish out and you can see where they have been beaten to death.

I also used to be a very heavy hitter back in the day, with big guitar amps and only vocal PA’s you had to be, just to be heard… but I’ve since done many small venue/coffee shop type gigs, where you only get the gig if you can play quietly, so I’m not a heavy hitter at all these days, unless it is necessary.

I’m an Evans G2 Coated over Evans G1 Clear, kind of guy. I actually prefer Evans G1 Coated on top, but find I have to re-tune them fairly often, so I gotten lazy and have come to accept the G2 sound as a workable less finicky compromise.

Edited later... I just checked and my main snare has a Evans G1 Coated and my Supra has a Ludwig Medium Coated... both single ply and in good shape... unlike the G2 on my 10" tom, which is cactus.

(This message was last edited by Lazmo at 07:44 AM, Jun 20th, 2012)

Contributing Member

Connecticut USA

Stompin' on the avenue by Radio City
Jun 20th, 2012 06:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

I play with dead heads all the time. In fact, we played “Bertha” and “Eyes of the World” just last week. (;oD

Contributing Member


Jun 20th, 2012 10:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the info Lazmo. Yeah, I'm currently gigging 3 times a week and we practice one night a week. But again, I'm not using the butt end of the sticks like I did years ago. I'm thinking these heads will probably last me a while.

I've never tried Evans heads but have heard good things about them. I may give them a go one of these days. I'm especially interested in their Emad heads for the bass drum. Those look interesting.

garp, I remember that John Densmore (The Doors drummer) used to play dead heads exclusively as that's the sound they were going after.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jun 22nd, 2012 01:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

"garp, I remember that John Densmore (The Doors drummer) used to play dead heads exclusively as that's the sound they were going after."

I prefer lively heads, maple drums and "Tone". I can always add some MoonGels for some dampening if needed but you can't get a dead head "lively"

IMO lively drums sound better live. The dead stuff is OK for some recording situations but I don't like the sound of "dead" drums in a live setting. They don't cut well sometimes even when mic'd.

As above, I change heads when they begin to dull out and loose sustain.

Contributing Member

So far out-o-da-loop

I can't even find the rope!
Sep 18th, 2012 09:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Being the starving artist that I am, I rarely change heads unless they break and over the years I've learned how to play loud and strong without breaking anything. I did recently have to replace a snare head after letting a less experienced drummer sit in on my kit.

FDP Forum / I'd Hit It! - Drums and Percussion / When do you change out heads?

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