is David's detailed description of how he gets his kit ready for a show.
I start with my toms, and after I have gone through the following steps
for my toms, I use the same procedure on my bass drum and snare as I discuss
1. I tune my bottom heads first, putting on the
head by tightening the lug screws as tight as possible ONLY using my fingers.
2. Using a drum key, I turn each lug screw 1/2 turn (180 degrees).
3. At this point, while slightly touching the center of the head, I tap
on the head about 2 inches from each lug screw, locating the highest and
lowest sounding lugs.
4. I then bring the lower pitched lugs up in pitch, trying to duplicate
the highest sounding lug. What's important about this is that I've seated
the head evenly from the beginning without having to bring the drum head
up too high in order to make the individual lugs sound even.
5. Now I can bring the lugs up with another 1/2 turn.
6. I re-check tuning (repeat steps 3 and 4).
7. With the palm of my hand, I push down on the center of the head (fairly
hard) in order to stretch it and break it in. This will lower the pitch
slightly, but will ensure the drum stays in tune as it is played over
a long period of time.
I usually find that by the time I get step 7, the drum sounds about where
I like it. For the batter side of the toms, I repeat the same procedure,
only I tune the top heads slightly looser than the bottom heads.
I use a little towel, packing blanket or pillow
in the Bass drum, slightly depressing the batter side.
I really stretch the batter side by either sitting on the drum or carefully
using my knee as not to dent it while breaking it in. Also the batter
head on the Bass is fairly loose, with the front head
slightly higher in pitch.
For the snare drum, I start with the bottom head using the tom tom procedure,
except that once the head is on evenly, I turn each lug 1/2 turn three
times. Be careful stretching this head in as it will dent easily!
The batter head on the snare is tuned slightly lower than the snare side.
However, depending on the song, style of music and/or type of snare drum,
I may tune the batter side much higher or lower than the snare side.
Just as a reference point, I can play "Taps" starting with my
lowest floor tom working up to my smallest rack tom...from there I tune
my smallest rack up a step or two...from there my snare is maybe a step
or two higher than my smallest rack tom.