A Drum Head or Drum Skin is a  plastic round surface used on both top and bottom of a drum shell. The top of a Drum Head is called the Batter Head and bottom is called the Resonant Head. They are usually manufactured from Mylar and Polyester or a mix of both. Drum Heads can be widely classified into the following types:

  • Single Ply
  • Double Ply
  • Coated Heads
  • Clear Heads

Let us take a look at each of these types to understand some basic distinctions. 

Single Ply Heads:

The most commonly used drumhead is the single ply. These heads are made from a single sheet of Mylar. The thinner the head, the more overtones and high-end ring. Single-ply heads are generally quite sensitive, and hence least durable of all batter heads. They are ideal for lighter playing styles (jazz, light rock), but they can also produce a big, boomy sound for louder and more ambient situations.

Double Ply Heads:

Most double-ply heads consist of two layers with some models being made with different thicknesses to produce distinct tones. In general, double-ply heads have a deeper and more controlled sound with fewer overtones, a more defined attack, a shorter sustain, and a fatter punch than single-ply heads. Durability is also increased in the making of doubly ply heads. Double-ply heads are preferred in heavier, louder musical styles, and their pronounced attack makes them a great choice for players.

Coated Heads:

There are many different types of coatings used on drumheads. Some models are sprayed with a translucent coating, some are sprayed until coated solid black or white, and some are etched to create a textured surface. Heads without coats will produce a brighter, less controlled sound, and they will have more attack. Coated heads have a warmer tone when compared side by side with non-coated heads, even when tuned to the exact same pitch.

Clear Heads:

Unlike Coated heads, clear heads tend to sound brighter and more open. A clear head can be a double ply or a single ply. Clear heads tend to lose texture, that one gets on a coated head, while a player is using brushes on the snare drum. A clear head on the toms makes it sound bright and give more attack. Clear coated heads are good for a player looking for a bright tone for their kits. 

Hopefully, these distinctions have helped you make a clearer decision on which is the right kind of drum head for your kit. Head onto FurtadosOnline to shop for your favourite kind.


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