What does attack mean for drums and drumheads? When you hit a drum, the very first thing you hear is the attack. It’s the sharp “whack”, “crack”, or “thud” sound of your drumstick (or kick drum beater) hitting the drumhead. It’s the sound you hear before your drum starts to ring out (before the sustain and overtones kick in).

Thicker drumheads and clear drumheads will usually produce a bigger and louder attack, although the attack can drop off if the drumhead is extremely thick or if you’re using too much drum dampening. The coating of a drumhead will also reduce the attack (and this is caused by the coating dampening the sound slightly).

Why is attack important when buying drumheads? Attack is an extremely useful thing to understand, because it influences how clearly your drums will be heard. For example, if you’re playing high volume music, you might want a lot of attack so your drums can stand out above other instruments. Conversely, if you play low volume music, you might want less attack to help your drums blend nicely into the overall sound.

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