At some point, every drummer changes their drum kit head or adds new ones for different sounds. However, not all drumheads are created equal. Each serves a purpose in giving the drummer the sound they need. As a new or experienced drummer, do you know what sets one apart from the other? Which one do you need for playing? Let’s go over these questions and gain an understanding of the different types of drumheads.
Single-ply drumheads are basic, thin drumheads. They’re designed from a single layer of 10-mil mylar and offer different thicknesses, such as 3-mil snare sideheads. Still, the 10-mil is the most common.
Single-ply resonates well, and as batter heads, they are bright and bring out a drum’s overtone. Single-ply drumheads are ideal for jazz and easy listening music styles. Drummers can also use them to rock, but they aren’t as durable as the double-ply heads, especially if they’re constantly used in a rock setting.
Double-ply drumheads are more durable than single-ply heads, making them great for really rocking out. They tend to exhibit reduced overtones, more attack, and a shorter sustain. Moreover, they’re ideal for rock or music styles where articulation and longevity are needed.
Double-ply drumheads are commonly made of two layers of 7-mil plies, but they also come in other thicknesses. No matter the thickness, double-ply tends to bring a nice, deep tone to the drum kit.
Coated and Clear Heads
When coated, drumheads gain a muffled sound, as compared to clear heads, which bring more of an open and bright effect. Coated heads are great for snare drums, especially in jazz, since they work beautifully with a brush. The coating, whether black or whit,e adds a warmth to the drumhead. Clear heads, however, give that harder sound we feel in our bones. Both have their place, depending on the need.
Just as it sounds, the dotted drumhead has a dot right in the center designed to muffle excess ring. Don’t use dots when using brushes, or the brushes can snag. Instead, place the dot on the underside of the drum to avoid snagging. For a focused sound, dotted drumheads are the way to go.
Many drumhead producers create their own specialty heads. They give the drummer something unique to try out and always a great sound. Usually, a drummer is a bit more experienced before trying specialty heads, but we say go for it if it piques your curiosity.
Understanding the different types of drumheads and finding the right type is essential to achieving your drumming goals. Experimentation is key when you’re purchasing drumheads. At Yandas Music, we offer many percussion instruments for sale and, more importantly, years of experience to help you make the best choice for your drum kit needs.