Best Snare Drum – Top 6 Recommendations
The snare drum is considered one of the most important drums of the drum kit.
That is why I have created a list of Best Snare Drums 2017.
You can’t build a good snare drum if you don’t know what a good snare drum is supposed to be.
With that out of the way, there’s a good news for you; the market is filled with wonderful snare drums from all sorts of manufacturers.
- Best Snare Drum 2017
- Snare Drum Materials
Best Snare Drum 2017
Today, we are going to help you select the best snare drum you can buy currently in the market. For your ease and convenience, we have listed quite a number of them and left you with their pros and cons as well.
PDP Maple Snare Drum
- Great sensitivity. Fantastic tone out-of-the-box.
Ludwig Supraphonic Black Beauty
The Ludwig snare drum is probably the most played and recorded percussion instrument of our time. Top musicians, like Ringo Starr and John Bonham, used a Ludwig for its distinct sound and flare.
Professionals have used Ludwig snare drums for many years. The combination of design, construction, and appearance makes them so desirable. The Supersonic snare was originally made of chrome-plated brass, and today is made of chrome-plated aluminum alloy. They’re famous for their metal snares, however, they also offer maple snares with a plastic pearl wrap.
Pork Pie Little Squealer
Pork Pie™ drums are the top-of-the-line.
Standard equipment includes: 100% maple shells, Pork Rings™ mounting system, 2.3mm hoops, heavy duty spurs and our hour-glass shaped lug. Finish choices are limitless. High-Gloss Lacquers, Satin Lacquers, and Wraps.
Pearl S1330B Piccolo
Piccolo and Effects Snare Drums have become some of the most widely used and best selling Snare Drums in popular music today. Their crisp brilliant attack and tight sound with excellent projection have led many players to use them as both a secondary and primary snare. Pearl’s 13’x3′ Piccolo Snare Drums are available with your choice of Brass, Maple or Steel shell.
Spaun Acrylic Vented Snare
“The Spaun Acrylic shell snare drum produces a unique voice, with a loud, cracking attack and a darker, more focused note. Similar in sound characteristics to Spaun’s Carbon Fiber snare drums, its round lugs and large round vents give it awesome projections and head-turning looks. Serious sound that stands out from the custom snare crowd.
Tama Stewart Copeland
Tama is one of the most popular drum brands on the market. They’re known for their well-made hardware and sturdiness. They began their humble beginnings in 1965 under the name “Star Drums” in Japan. The drum business began to grow and was introduced into the American market, competing with Rogers, Slingerland, and Ludwig.
In 1974, Hoshino Gakki, Tama’s founder, began to focus on making high-quality drum kits and hardware. Gakki named the company after his wife, Tama, which means “jewel” in Japanese.
The snare drums are especially unique. They began to offer a cast bell brass shell first. In fact, it was very rare to find that in a snare at that time.
The Stewart Copeland snare drum, a Tama signature model, is a faithful reproduction of the snare drum of “mysterious provenance” that Stewart used with the Police and everything else from that time period. This Copeland snare sound easily penetrates what he describes as “the dirge from the bass and the ear-piercing sounds of a guitar.” That penetrating sound is the result of combining a die-cast batter hoop and a triple-flanged bottom hoop with a brass shell that is 0.5mm thicker than the standard 1mm shell.
Don’t forget to consider common add-ons, like extra heads, sticks, muffling materials, spare tension rods, and cases
How to Choose a Snare Drum
Welcome to Part 1 of our How to Choose a Snare Drum Guide
Snare Drum Width or Diameter
There are three sizes for snare drums based on their diameter or width. The smallest diameter is 10 inches and these are called popcorn snare drums. The next range has a diameter ranging from 12 inches to 13 inches and these are called soprano snare drums. The third size has a diameter of 14 inches, and these are the standard snare drums.
Please take note that these three classifications are based on the diameter. There are also three categories based on the depth of the snare drums, so these could be confusing. However, it is the diameter or width that has the greatest effect on the drum’s tone. Therefore, the popcorn snare drums have the highest pitch, the soprano snare drums have a lower pitch than the popcorn drums, and the standard snare drums have the lowest.
Snare Drum Depth
The depth of the snare drum also affects the tone in that a deeper drum will have a lower sound while a shallower one will have a higher pitch. However, depth affects not only the tone but also the strength and ability of the sound to project. On the other hand, a shallow snare drum will have a purer tone and better resonance. That is why the snare drums with stronger sounds are preferred for rock music while jazz music requires the shallower ones for their purer tones.
Based on depth, there are also three categories for snare drums: piccolo, standard, and deep. Piccolo snare drums have a depth ranging from three to 4.5 inches. These drums have less projection but they have cleaner tones. Standard drums have a depth ranging from five to 5.5 inches. Deep snare drums have a depth ranging from six to 10 inches, and are preferred for music that requires louder drum sounds. Deep snare drums provide the well-known back-beat pattern for popular music as well as marching bands.
Snare Drum Materials
Welcome to Part 2 of our How to Choose a Snare Drum Guide
The basic types of materials for the shell of snare drums are wood and metal. For some, there is not much difference between the sound of a wooden snare drum and a metal one. However, those who have discriminating ears know that a drum with a wooden shell produces a warm, round, and full-bodied sound while a metal snare drum creates a more sharp and harsh sound.
Sound Properties and Characteristics of the Different Wood Snares
There are three common kinds of wood employed for the shells of snare drums: maple, birch, and African mahogany. It should be noted here that many drum companies utilize a cheaper kind of mahogany or Luan to provide an inexpensive drum that is the least attractive compared to the other kinds of woods and the sounds produced are less pleasing to the ear.
Some companies employ African mahogany, which has been found to be suitable for music that accentuates the low frequencies. The low frequencies in African mahogany snare drums have been observed to be extremely rich while their middle frequencies are smooth. However, the high frequencies are relatively weak with a little roll-off.
The maple snare drums are usually suitable for all-around applications because they have smooth high and middle frequencies with low frequencies that are a bit stronger. Maple Snares are said to have a even tone with the most equal distribution of the sound spectrum.
Birch snare drums are strong in both the low and high frequencies but a little bit weak in the middle frequencies. Because of their very appealing natural finish, maple and birch snare drums are the most popular. Birch Shells in general are good for recording because of the weaker mid ranges which acts as a counter to a dynamic microphone noticeable mid range bump in the way it records.
Sound Properties and Characteristics of Metal Snare Drums
The usual types of metals utilized for the shells of snare drums are steel, aluminum, copper, and bronze, with steel being the most common. Steel snare drums have been observed to create a bright sound with a sharp attack. Copper snare drums have lower harmonic tones and a quick attack. Brass produces a loud and bright sound with a quality that is situated between that of metal and wood. Aluminum has been known to create clean and crisp sounds.
It has been found that aluminum and bronze snare drums have quick attacks but do not have the sharp high frequencies of steel and brass drums. If you prefer a less sharp sound that is warmer, you can opt for the bronze and aluminum drums. However, if you desire brighter sounds, you can choose the steel and brass drums.
If you want versatility, the brass snare drum is for you. It is most commonly used for recordings and you can introduce a lot of changes by utilizing wires and hoops. Copper snare drums can produce excellent sounds but they are not that versatile and steel and brass drums are capable of doing everything that copper drums can. Aluminum snare drums provide you with stronger cracks that are arguably more pronounced when compared to brass drums. Steel snare drums are endowed with some ring but this can be made to sound drier by using wires, hoops and muffling.
Snare Drums for Each Type of Music
Welcome to Part 3 of our How to Choose a Snare Drum Guide
Snare Drums for Each Type of Music
Before you are able to select the most appropriate snare drum for you purposes, you will first have to determine the style of music that you will be using it for.
Snare Drums for Rock Music
If you are using snare drums for rock music, one important trait that they should have is that they should be able to create really loud sounds because this type of music is usually played very loud. Thus, listeners should be able to easily discern the drum sounds despite the loud music generated by the electric guitars.
The drum heads for rock snare drums are usually provided with a heavy coating to slightly muffle the sounds because you don’t want them to clash with the other sounds. They usually have a depth that ranges between five and a half to eight inches while their diameters are usually 14 inches. The shells should be made of steel to make them capable of producing really loud sounds. Therefore, rock snare drums are usually standard steel drums that can be classified as deep snare drums in terms of depth.
Snare Drums for Metal Music
If you plan to buy snare drums for metal music, you will have to get one of those metal snare drums, which could be made of bronze, aluminum, brass, or synthetic materials including acrylic and carbon fiber. Their unique characteristic is that they have a brighter timber and they can create a higher volume compared to the other types of snare drums. They usually have the depth of eight inches, so that they are deep drums when classified in terms of depth. They often have diameters of 13 to 15 inches, so that they are standard snare drums in terms of diameter. For certain purposes, there are also power piccolo snare drums.
Snare Drums for Funk Music
Snare drums for funk music should have a distinctly accented and stressed sound. Thus, they ought to be tightly tuned to generate a high cracking sound while still having a full-bodied sound. The diameters of fund snare drums usually range from 13 to 14 inches, which places them in the standard snare drum category in terms of diameter. However, they could have any depth depending on the preference of the musician.
Snare Drums for Jazz Music
Snare drums for jazz usually have shells that are made of brass or wood and this is one kind of music where drum sticks are not used. Since jazz music is relatively soft in sound compared to rock music and other popular music styles, the drummer has to produce a soft vibration and this is commonly accomplished by utilizing brushes. However, you will need to minimize muffling to ensure that the soft sounds produced by the brushes could be heard. Therefore, the drum head should have a texture that ranges from light to moderate. The depth of jazz snare drums is usually six inches, which places them on the border of the deep snare drum category in terms of depth. Jazz snare drums usually have a diameter of 14 inches, which puts them in the standard snare drums classification in terms of diameter or width.
Snare Drums for Punk Music
Punk music requires loud drum sounds. Thus, punk snare drums need to produce sounds that are as loud as those created by the hi-hat cymbals. There is a broad range of choices for the drum heads and tuning styles, but they can be easily adjusted depending on the musician’s specific requirements. Punk snare drums often have a diameter of 15 inches, which places them in the standard snare drums category, based on width or diameter.
They usually have a depth of five and a half to six inches, which also put them on the border of the deep snare drum classification, based on depth.
There are no hard or fast rules for this any snare drum can work with any genre of music these are just the common configurations that are “typical” but mix and match if you like and trust your ears.