GUIDE TO DRUM HEADS

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.

 

Share this Post onShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter