The unknown drum set. Part 6.

When you have 15 different woods in one drum kit, you should get something homogeneous. But, as a tuner, you quickly discover just the opposite. They are always some discrepancies. One piece will go its own way compared to the rest of the kit.


Now, the drum makers have an easy counter argument: the tuners don’t know how to tune! There you go. As far as they are concerned: problem solved. They go back to their old ways, all is good and fair in the world.

Only it doesn’t work quite like that. Because all drum tuners know the same thing: in any kit, there is always at least one piece that doesn’t follow the rest.

Let’s go a little darker.

The dirty little secret of drum makers is this: they don’t know what they are doing. Not exactly. They are selling a finish, a few metal parts, and a brand. The shells are left to chance. Even if it is little chance, it is too much chance. Because some of these kits are very expensive. So, we end up buying something that’s almost coherent. But something that will always leave us unsatisfied.

Let’s look at another arguments from the drum makers: What about those drum stars, the guys who’ve been endorsing this or that brand for years? They always play a coherent kit! They are always happy!

Yes, they are. They write very nice ads in drum magazines. Very quotable. Those drummers have roadies that tune their drums, that order them new pieces, and take care of all the maintenance. If the drummer chooses to take care of his sound himself, the drum makers matches the kit. The Kabloey factory will have experts tap the wood to listen to the tone  ofthe shells. They get to pick the ones that go together.

Do you start to understand the difficulty of the problem?

You dig, man?


All right, so, what can be done? The answer should be a very obvious nothing. After all, they own the field!

We must always bow to the laws of mass market, don’t we?


Not quite.

Next blog, please.