I know how hard it is to tune your drums by ear, especially if you are a beginner or on tour and can’t hear your drum while tuning.
That’s why I compiled a list of the best tuning gadgets to help you tune your drums effortlessly and in any given situation.
This article will teach you how to tune drums easily with these 6 gadgets.
1. Drumdial Drum Tuner
Drumdial drum tuner is among the most popular drum tuners in the drummer community. Some even may consider it an OG tuning product.
So, how can you tune your drums with a Drumdial drum tuner?
Here is a 4-step process on how to do it:
- First, take your drum tuner and place it on the drum, in line with a lug, and about an inch away from the rim.
- Apply pressure to the top of the dial to get a reading.
- After you complete the previous step, it’s time to take the number from the reading and repeat the same step all around the drum. Adjust everything to the reading of the first number.
- The last step is to adjust to lower or raise the drum’s pitch, but only after the drum is in tune with itself.
Drumdial tuner is the best device if you are on a budget since it is affordable. However, both beginners and professionals can use it to tune their drums easily.
- Excellent for tunning in a loud environment
- Silent tuning
- The tuning range must be set manually
- Some parts of the drum are difficult to tune
2. Tune-Bot STUDIO Electronic Drum Tuning Device
Tune-Bot studio is one more gadget that is very popular today.
It is a mechanical dial but operates more like a guitar dial. What it does is measure the pitch of your drum as a frequency.
As a result, you have an actual note representation.
Here is how to tune your drum with Tune-Bot:
- Place your drum on a stool or carpet to mute the opposite head.
- Clip the tune-bot studio to the drum hoop between any two lugs.
- Push the red Power button to turn the unit on.
- Strike the head of your drum lightly about 1” inward of any lug and wait for the reading on display. This reading is your lug pitch.
- Tighten a lug to raise the pitch and loosen the lug to lower the pitch.
- Try to get the same pitch at each lug. Measure each of the lugs and make adjustments until all lugs are within 2Hz of each other.
The tune-Bot gadget is far more complex and harder to use than the Drumdial Drum Tuner.
However, it can still be used by beginners to tune their drums if they follow the same steps mentioned above.
- Increased accuracy
- Small and portable
- Ability to save multiple drum pitch settings
- Not so affordable
3. Tama Tension Watch Drum Tuning Aid
Tama Tension Watch is similar to the Drum Dial because they have a similar tuning process.
However, a Drum Dial might be more accurate and produce better long-term results.
Nevertheless, Tama Tension Watch is a great gadget for all beginners to tune their drums.
Here is the 3-step process on how to tune your drums using Tama tension Watch:
- Tighten tension rods to roughly tune the drum and keep the head fairly level before using the Tension Watch.
- Place the drum on a flat surface and put the Tension Watch on the drum head next to each tension rod to get a reading.
- Go around the drum and adjust each tension rod to achieve an identical tension value across all lugs.
When you tighten a tension rod, make sure that you pick up the Tension Watch and then place it back on the drum head again to get an accurate reading. Sliding the Tension Watch from one lug to the next will result in
- Easy to read
- Accurate and consistent
- Not the best long-term option
4. Tru Tuner Rapid Drum Head Replacement System
Now you are probably thinking, what is this gadget used for? In addition, you may think that it is extremely complicated to use.
However, the Tru tuner Rapid Head Replacement System is a great tool to easily remove your snare drum head in less than a minute.
In fact, when using this gadget, you tune all the tension rods at the same time. Here is how to tune your drums with this gadget:
- Attach each of the included keys to the drum
- Line them up with the color-coded holes and ridges in the disk
- Remove the handle of the disk in a circular pattern
- Tighten or loosen all your tension rods at once
Tru Tuner is definitely not a traditional drum tuner, but it is one of the easiest to use.
- Remove all your lugs simultaneously
- Change your snare drum head in less than a minute
- Tune all the tension rods at once
- Not so affordable
5. Drumdial Digital Drum Tuner
Drumdial Digital drum tuner is another gadget that needs to be on the list, even though it is very similar to the first tool on our list.
It has all the features of the Drumdial Drum Tuner. However, all that is presented in a digital form, which makes it a little pricier.
In addition, the digital version of this gadget has more features, making it even more precise and easier to use.
Here is how to tune your drums with Digital Drum Tuner in just a couple of steps:
- Positioning first: Position the tuner, so it’s easy to read. Next, place the tuning tip on the drumhead. The base should be ¾ of an inch from the edge of the drum and directly in front of a tuning lug.
- Tuning second: Move Drum Dial to each tuning point. Tighten each lug until you achieve identical display readings.
- Adjusting third: Now is the time to tighten or loosen each lug to the desired tuning point.
As you see, the tuning process is super easy, and the gadget is super precise. Your drums will never be out of tune after the tuning process with Drumdial Digital.
- Easy to read
- Very precise
- Straightforward to use
- A little pricier
6. Tune-Bot Gig
The Tune-Bot Gig is a cheaper version of Tune-bot, but it provides more features, making it far more customizable than any other tuning product.
This gadget will make your tuning process much easier because it is straightforward.
You may feel overwhelmed by the customizable options of this gadget, but the tunning process is very simple.
Here is what you need to do to tune your drums with The Tune-Bot Gig:
- Place your carpet on a stool or carpet to mute the opposite head.
- Next, place the Tune-Bot Gig on the drum hoop between any two lugs.
- Push the Power button to turn the unit on
- Strike the head of your drum 1″ inward of any lug. The reading on display is your lug pitch.
- To lower the pitch, loosen the lug and to raise the pitch, tighten the lug.
- Now, your goal is to get the same pitch at each lug. Measure each lug and make adjustments. All lugs should be within 2Hz of each other.
Some specific features of the Tune-Bot Gig are:
- Tuning charts
- Overtone filters
- Lug pitch measurements
- Frequency modes
- Pitch measurements
This device is a great option for those always looking to get a more precise sound across their kit. It may be overwhelming for beginners to use this gadget since it requires you to be more patient. However, it is still great for all drummers looking to tune their drums more precisely and has some special features to improve their drumming skills further.
- Various settings to help get the perfect sound
- Very detailed instructions
- The display is easy to read
- Confusing for inexperienced drummers because of the large amount of settings
Let’s sum it up!
There are a lot of gadgets to help you tune your drums more easily.
Tuning gadgets are great for beginners looking to tune their drums easily and without experience.
In addition, professionals can use these gadgets too when they are doing gigs or on tour, and they can’t hear themselves from other musicians and audiences.
Some of the best gadgets to tune your drums effortlessly are:
- Drumdial Drum Tuner
- Tune-Bot STUDIO Electronic Drum Tuning Device
- Tama Tension Watch Drum Tuning Aid
- Tru Tuner Rapid Drum Head Replacement System
- Drumdial Digital Drum Tuner
- Tune-Bot Gig
All these gadgets have a similar tuning process, except the Tru Tuner, which is a little more specific and easier to use since it tunes all tension rods simultaneously.
Let us know in the comments below what are your favorite gadgets for tuning the drums.