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How Often Should I Replace Drum Heads?

Q: Even though I’m not a drummer, I have a drum kit that is available for use to my studio customers during sessions. How often should I replace the heads?

A: It’s impossible to give an exact answer (“after XXX number of hits…”) However, signs that it is time for new drumheads include:

  • The coating is worn off a coated head.
  • The head is severely dented.
  • The head is “dished” into the drum, rather than being flat. This indicates the head has stretched.
  • The head can’t be tuned to the pitch you want. This indicates the head has lost elasticity.
  • You hear buzzing or distortion from the head. This means the head has stretched and is no longer in complete contact with the shell.

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