Choosing a Drum
Choosing a snare
The sound of the snare drum is determined by the snare
Most drummers have a tendency to obsess on the drum head only, but the snare is also very important to the overall sound, so drummers everywhere should pay more attention to this very important part of the snare drum. The head can change the tonal qualities of the drum itself, but the snare drum's characteristic sound is largely affected by the snare. You can adjust the tonal flavor by degrees by adjusting the snare.
Snare variations are almost infinite
The sound of the snare is determined first by the material used, and next by the number of strands. These are the two main factors. Snares are normally made of steel, but a stainless steel snare has a brighter tone. The number of strands directly affects the width of the snare. In other words, the wider the snare, the more strands there are. The more strands there are, the more "snare like" the snare sounds.
The snare is controlled by a device called the strainer, which can also be used to change the tone.
Steve Gadd's snare is a little different from the rest. It has very few strands. When the drum is struck the rattling of the snare dies off quickly, giving it a very tight feel, and allowing the drums raw tone to stand out.
Another interesting snare drum is the Dave Weckl signature model snare. This drum has two snares, enabling the drum to produce two distinctly different snare sounds from one drum. The first snare is a bright-sounding stainless steel, while the other is a tight-sounding high carbon. This is quite a drummer's snare drum.