4

I am a keen drum player and have had my first drum skin crack. It was on a medium snare drum. The drum has been played for about 20 mins a day for the past 4 years. I had got the drum second hand and am not sure how old it was when I first got it. The drum still functions perfectly well with only a tiny variation in sound. I only use this drumkit to practice and therefore the sound isn't particularly important.

I would like to know three things:

Are the skins meant to crack?

Is it worth replacing?

How much would it cost to replace?

If i need to I can give more information on the drum.


(This question has also been posted on music fans as I am not quite sure which site this is more appropriate for)

3

Drum heads don't last for ever. Cracking is a standard failure mode.

It may SOUND ok, but does it 'bounce' the same way when practicing rolls etc.? If so, carry on if you like. If you go on playing, the worst that is going to happen is that it cracks more. No biggie.

No point in telling US the details of your drum. You need to tell the music shop where you hope to buy a replacement head. They'll tell you the price. We don't even know what country you're in!

(If this is your 'practice' drum, where do you do your real playing? Isn't there a teacher or a more experienced drummer there who can advise you?)

2

I would add a different aspect to the existing answers. While, yes, drum heads crack eventually (I have yet to experience that), you might want to pay some attention to the reasons that lead there.

What I mean is (note that I have no clue about your playing level but considering the question I would conclude it is not too high):

  1. Technique. The drum is to be hit with the flattest part of the stick head. The fullest sound is produced when the stick is almost flat with the drum. The angle should be minimal and as close to 90 degrees as possible. Hitting the skin at a sharp angle usually produces dents in the skin, eventually leading to cracks. This sometimes happens when a snare is kept too low and playing it resembles chopping wood rather than playing a drum. The snare is usually kept at the belt level (at the hips, approximately) so that your hands are resting comfortably at the point of impact.

  2. Strength. Pure physical strength is not so important when playing drums. Meaning, it should be used to a minimum to get the desired sound. The strength of a stroke is produced by technique, the distance from the head, and the speed of movement. Also, pay attention not to transfer the energy of the hit onto your hands and wrists. Try to let the stick do the work, your hands just help it get there. You can find a lot of material on proper technique online.

  3. Tension. The skins need to be correctly tuned and equally stretched on all sides. There are generally two ways of tightening the drum head - star and clockwise. The tension should be maintained so that there are no loose screws, resulting in unbalanced tension on the drum head, which can result in tears and cracks.

Keeping these things in mind might make your new skins last you a lifetime. Having said that, drum heads are fairly cheap and expendable, compared to a drum itself. They are in the $10-$20 range, I believe, depending on the size.

1

Drum heads stretch and degrade over time. Sometimes they crack. Sometimes they tear. Sometimes all the material in then batter head wears off. Replacing drumheads is normal and how often depends on how they’re used. You can get drumheads from just about any music store or online - you can see the prices for yourself. Be sure to match the headsize with the drumsize and grab a percussion key if you don’t already own one. If you’re in school, ask your music teacher for advice on how to change it. Otherwise look for videos by reputable drummers / companies. Drum tuning is it’s own wonderful art form.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.