If you’re struggling to tune your drums by ear, or want to be as accurate as possible, the DrumDial can help. It is a little controversial – some people love it (it usually gets great reviews), others not so much.
Designed to accurately measure the tension near each lug, the DrumDual is moved around the drum as you tune up or down, with the gauge showing the exact tension. This allows each lug to be tuned to the exact same tension, which will remove strange ringing overtones that conflict with the fundamental note you’re tuning to. It also allows you to easily tune your drum the exact same way every time. DrumDial gives recommendations on how to tune each drum, but I’d recommend using these as a starting point only… experiment and take note of the tension when you find a tuning you like.
To use it, place the drum on a flat surface (like your drum stool) and finger-tighten each tuning rod. Once you’ve done this, place the DrumDial on the drumhead and tune up in small increments (don’t go from 20 to 80 on the dial at once). Turn the drum and keep moving in a circle pattern to the next lug, and repeat until you’ve reached the desired tension on the dial. Listen to the drum after you’ve completed each circle.
See how it works on this custom snare drum…