One of the things that people gained more awareness of in the later years is the drum heads. Whatever Drum kits you might have got, there must have been stock heads with it. A lot of people neither might think nor even know that they can be changed. Why will one change it? The ones that have come with the kit seem fine, right?
Well, understand that the manufactures of these drums, for the most part, won’t be putting the high-quality drum heads as it won’t be profitable. Now, this brings us to the question of which are the best drum heads? This completely depends on the kind of music you look forward to playing.
Drum Heads Comparison Table
5 Best Drum Heads for Toms, Rock, Metal and Jazz
Most of the drum heads seem very similar and it gets difficult to differentiate between them. But the difference can be noticed as there are specific differences in the nuances in every drum head. And every nuance will work for the specific style of music.
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Now coming to the drum heads that will be perfect for you:
Aquarian Drumheads Drumhead Pack (PF12) : Best Drum Heads for Toms
We have chosen this one as the best drum heads for toms for a reason. Do you remember that low sound of tom that one use to listen to roll records and classic rock? This must have been the sound that you just couldn’t get while playing. Now you can do that! But some specifications need to be broken down. The Aquarian PF12 offers high-quality sound and the Tom head will provide full warm tones and there won’t be an excess of overtones.
This is a tom head with double-ply and durable. There is a vacuum process used in them that assures that the two plies get attached without any kind of wrinkles or bubbles, this further contributes to better sound. This will be a perfect purchase for anyone that’s in search of fat and deep sounds. These are available in 2 sizes of 8” and 16” and this makes it perfect for drums of all sizes.
- The drum heads provide full, warm tones.
- This is a durable product.
- No wrinkles or air bubbles present between the plies.
- Not versatile.
Remo Emperor X Coated Snare Drum Head – 14 Inch: Best Snare Drum Head
You must be wondering now, which drum head will be the best choice for heavy music? Remo Emperor is the perfect one for people that hit hard and needs a drum head with super durable quality. Remo even claims that they have the most durable quality drum head that you will find! Now, this has a low end than other ones that are mentioned on the list. Not, just that it is also responsive regardless of how hard one hits. It also has warm tones that remain focused and also a reverse dot for helping tackle any kind of unwanted overtones.
The drum head has two plies and a thickness of 10 mils and this can assure that any genre of music will be easy to play. The reverse black dot tends to eliminate the excessive overtone and assures you an incredible sound each time. It is available in13” and 14” and has been specifically designed for snare drums.
- The drum heads offer extremely high durability.
- Focuses well on the warmer tones.
- The reverse black dot can easily remove any unneeded overtones.
- It is expensive.
Evans Genera HD Drum Head: Best Drum Heads for Metal
If you had been searching for something that can completely revolutionize the snare drum, then don’t search further as this is the right choice for you. There is a good reason for its high popularity. The drum heads offer a controlled sound. Any extra overtones and the additional resonance are eliminated and offer you the exact sound that you wanted. The drum head has 2 plies.
The outer layer is 5 mil and the inner one is 7 mil. Therefore again, this is a durable drum head. There is also an overtone control ring of 2 mils that is placed outside and removes the excess overtones that tend to control the short sustains. There is a dry version as well that has small holes that work as vents and are all around the edge for offering tighter sounds. It’s available in the three sizes of 12, 13, and 14″.
- There is the overtone control ring that removes excessive overtones.
- It’s durable.
- Also offers great sound.
- There are no cons to this drum head!
Aquarian Drumheads Super-Kick II Drumhead Pack (SKII22): Best Drum Heads for Rock
Now, let’s talk about the option for people that play rock. Are you tired of your search for a drum head that will be good for rock music? You can get this one from Aquarian Drum Heads. The SKII22 is the one that will leave you from any worries in the future. This is one of the best drum heads for rock music available in the market. The company claims of offering high-quality sound. The sound is punchy and low and provides the perfect balance. The sound is great and there won’t be a requirement for additional dampening.
The drum head is of 2 plies of 7mil and also has a muffled ring that’s built-in and offers sound dampening. This means that you can play music all day long and there will be great sound quality each time. It also remains the best-reviewed product on the list and you can’t go wrong with it.
- It has a built-in floating muffle ring.
- Provides great tones.
- Best for rock music.
- This is an expensive product.
Evans G2 Tompack, Coated, Standard (12 inches, 13 inches, 16 inches): Best Drumhead set
Evans has been in the business for a long time and has been able to build a reputation after offering quality drum heads that are overall good. These are also favorites of many drummers and highly versatile therefore will work well with most of the music genres that you can think of.
This will also be the perfect choice If you are confused about what you are looking for as one cannot go wrong with this. These are coated drum heads that have warm tones and provides immense sound depth and a great attack. This will be best for genres that are easy-going like jazz. It’s a 2 ply drum head and offers good quality. You get brighter and clear tones. These are available individually as in packs of different sizes.
- A lot of different sizes are available.
- 2 plies provide great durability.
- Can be used for playing any music.
- You need to make sure that you select the right choice of coated or clear while you place an order.
Best Drum Heads Buying Guide:
Now after going through the best drum heads that we have available for you in the market today, let’s focus a bit on the best qualities a drum head should have. With the easy to follow buying guide below, you will be aware of exactly what to search for when you shop.
Kinds of Plies:
Ply means the membrane forming the drum heads. These can be of varied materials and depends completely on the processing policy of the manufacturer. However, a general phenomenon observed in most of them is the use of a material that leads to as natural sound as possible. Mostly, you will see that the drum heads have a limited thickness. There are two main kinds of plies and is understood majorly by the thickness:
If you are in search of the best drum heads for jazz then this will be a good choice for you. The thickness typically ranges from 7 – 10 mil in most of them. But it isn’t a rare sight to come across thinner pliers of 3 and 5 mil. Naturally, ply thickness will determine the kind of music it’s perfect for. And as we mentioned above this will be great for any type of light music like jazz. Another factor that determines the ply thickness especially in the case of drum heads with single-ply is resonant.
Resonant mainly determines the tone. So if there is high stress over it, the beat sound will get negatively impacted. Too less stress and the same phenomenon will happen. One needs to learn striking a balance between the resonant restrictions for having the perfect tones possible. For the most part, this will be improving your sound experience but can get a bit tricky.
However, if you had been trying to transition from heavy to low hitters, the drum head tuning will lead you to tones of a broader spectrum and this will make the audience happy.
These are the best drum heads for metal and as we have discussed in detail about the single ply before, this will be fairly easy to understand. These are the drum head with 2 attached plies and can range from 7-10 mil in thickness. This ensures that the drum head will take beatings easily. This is the perfect option for heavy hitters and offers perfect tones. Without a doubt, this is the perfect choice for people that play metal genres and others that have heavy tones as well.
One advantage of double-ply is that these are long-lasting. When compared with single ply, the thickness is more that allows heavier beating and the possibility of snapping is low. I can’t say this for sure that this cannot happen, but it will take a longer time. Depending on the kind of music you play and the frequency this time will be determined.
One thing that gets harder with double-ply is the resonant control. This also means that for tone variations, one will require additional features and have to get creative so that this can happen.
With experience and expertise, you will get better at tone control.
Does the kind Finish Matter and the options that you have:
When we talk about other musical instruments in general, the tone quality isn’t much affected by the sound that is being produced. However, the same doesn’t apply for drum heads. Therefore you have to focus a lot on ensuring that you select the finish type that’s most suitable for you otherwise there will surely go wrong in terms of the sound quality. What are the available finishes?
This is the kind of finish where there is an oil substance that’s sandwiched between the layers. This is recommended mainly for beginners as it provides ease in tuning. When compared with others the tuning is simpler on this one, but you can also get the best tones. It is mostly preferred for low-end audio. In some of the drum heads, one can find that the manufacturer also makes use of dampening agents and there is no oil present between layers.
Understanding of a drum head has a clear finish is pretty easy. Simply put, you won’t find anything included with this kind of finish, and the drum heads are available with the ply material only. A lot of people might think that purchasing this might be an absurd idea, but there are perks of having clear finish drum heads when we talk about the performance.
When you have drum heads with a clear finish, there is a better resonant when one compares it with other available in the market that has a finish. For beginners having a clear finish is a great choice until they have mastered all of the tuning risks that are observed in other kinds of drum heads.
These are amongst the best drum heads for bass that you can find. Mainly because it provides focussed dark tones and these are manufactured when black polymer and clear finish are combined. The result is this kind of a finish and offers you better control in playing deep tones, and yes these drum heads are black in the color as well.
The coated finish drum heads are a combination of clear finish and white polymer. This provides the drum head a vintage look that is famous in several drum sets. The main feature of going with this finish is not the appearance but the tones that you get by using it. If you are in search or something that provides controlled articulation and the ambiance is quiet, then the coated finish will make your work easier.
Additionally, this is the perfect fit for heavy music hitters as they want a drum head that can continue to exist after constant use. Because there is double-ply the reinforcement provides you with high durability and is best suited for being the highest quality drum heads.
Overtones Are An Important:
Before we get ahead with the overtone topic, you must understand what exactly it means. This usually refers to the frequency that’s higher than founding tones. When we talk about overtones, the preferences for varied people remain different and you should keep it in mind if you want the audience to be engaged throughout. Some of the key features that you should be looking at while you consider overtones are:
The environment of the place you will perform is vital. One will need to check this beforehand that if you will be playing in a quiet environment. Here, the overtones have to be at a minimum and so that people that are listening to the music can enjoy it without the need for being overwhelmed by high volumes.
Inharmonic and Harmonic Overtones:
There are mainly two overtone categories. One might also wonder why is there a need for such broad categories for understanding the overtones. Well, the answer to this is fairly simple. We have to find what complements well when we move it forward or let it go immediately.
Harmonic overtones are natural when it comes to complementing the founding tones. In inharmonic tones, this doesn’t happen. This also means that with harmonic overtones, one has an easier time appealing to the crowd. This is especially true of the performer before you had been using the founding tones.
However, there are more challenges with inharmonic tones. There is a need for more creativity and tuning capabilities also. It is highly recommended that you don’t go for inharmonic overtones unless you have gained high expertise. Overall, overtones are vital as this is the will set if you will be well heard in the show, or a guitarist will catch all the limelight.
For the setting of overtones, personal preference is also important. Most people have a preference for harmonic overtones that are natural and go unrecognized. While others like a bit of riskier overtones that are inharmonic.
You will have to find the perfect drum heads and understand your preference if you want to offer the best performance. The best way to do so is to practice as much as you can. This will help you with the identification of the most natural fit. One can also find having a drum mic great for this usage and you can even make training recordings to help you observe better.
Individual Factors That Will Help You to Identify The Drum Head You Must Buy:
Apart from the detailed features that we discussed above, some additional factors will help you with your purchase:
1. The Budget You Have:
Price is a vital aspect when you are searching for the best drum heads. Understand that if you have the best quality musical instrument, the probability is that the drum heads for them will be expensive as well. Although, it is always advised that you begin with the budget that you are comfortable with and it’s not very true that one of the most expensive ones will be the best drum heads. Several drum heads are affordable and some of them have been mentioned in the list above as well.
2. The Skill Set You Have:
Whether you are in search of the best drum heads for metal or some other that’s as per your liking, one of the most critical factors will be the right match for the skill set you currently have. It will not matter if the kind of drum heads that you have been using if the skill set is low as you won’t get what you require.
Therefore you must be able to identify the capabilities you have first and understand the level that you are on. There are options available for people that are amateurs and then there are drum heads available that will be best suited for experts. There is a specific sophistication needed for every category that will help you in the proper use and you can care for it.
3. Music Genre That Will Be Played:
So this is common sense, the best drum head for jazz won’t be suited for something like metal. Therefore one good tip for avoiding any issues related to this, one needs to first identify the kind of music genre, you will play and then select a drum head that will meet the needs of that genre.
This is important as the drum head architecture is designed for being suitable for specific music. Single and double-ply are usually used for different music genres. In the case where you play a wider range, then some options are great all-rounders as well. But still, if you understand if you are a light or heavy hitter, this choice becomes easier.
The Huge Debate with Drums That Have Sound Control that’s Built-In:
When it comes to performance and their drums, most people don’t want that there is ever an occurrence of ringing out. Although there are times when it’s just inevitable and unless you have built-in audio controls or you are a professional, you will mess up! Here are the top benefits of using drums with sound control:
- Small holes across the edge are vital for cutting any ringing.
- There are some with felt strips that also reduce the overtones making the sound fatter and warmer.
- With dampening you will be able to achieve high versatility.
- You can also focus on better sound with such controls and also the inlay rings.
FAQ on the best drum heads:
1. What is the main difference between clear and coated drum heads?
Drum heads with coating muffle the audio a bit. The clear heads offer open and brighter sound. You cannot get the ‘sandpaper’ types of sound with clear heads and brushes. The coated heads over the toms also make the drum a little warmer, while having clear heads will provide you attack.
2. What are bottom heads important?
When we talk about making a huge difference in the sound you get from the drums, the vital factor that is needed for the selection of resonant skin remains in the thickness. The thicker the bottom head is higher will be the resonance. Therefore you can say that a thicker head will give extra overtones.
3. Why Do We See Drummers Putting Tape Over The Drums?
The main reason why most drummers do put tape over the drums is that this is a great way for reducing any sustain or overtones. Also sometimes the tape is applied for allowing better recordings in the studio as it helps in reducing the overall drum volume ever so slightly. This remains just one of the varied solutions that are used for controlling the overtones.
4. How Often There Is A Need For Drum Head Replacement?
You should be changing the drum heads with new ones in six months. Experts also recommend that you change the drum heads just before you begin recording. Otherwise, if you are playing normally and practicing then the replacement can be done after six months. This again isn’t a hard rule and the frequency of usage will be a good determining factor for it.
5. How will you know if the drum heads have gone bad?
You will be known that the drum heads have been dished out or gone bad when there is a dented appearance over it. This is a clear indicator that the heads are already stretched beyond the limit and now it’s at a point where there is no elasticity left. It will be a good time that you replace it with a brand new one so that you have constant high-quality sound.
Final Thoughts on Best Drum Heads
The selection of the best drum heads is not that complex as it might seem. The guide above must have provided you with ample information on the specific characteristics to look for, the brand options that are available to you, and the one that will fit best as per the music genre that you play.
It is highly recommended that you don’t go for the cheapest drum heads that are made with low-quality material. As it will be of no use and you will have a poor sound quality, and you might eventually end up with an expensive one later on again.
It is also a good idea to go for the upgrade from the drum head that comes with your drum set. Also, it is advised that you invest more in this one as a durable quality drum set and it will last you a long time.