The sound of a drum is determined by the type of material used to make it. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned drummer, understanding the difference between raw materials can help you choose the right instrument for your style and needs.
TYPES OF WOOD DRUMS
Wood is the most common material used to make drums. It is lightweight, durable, and produces a warm, rich tone. The type of wood used to make drums can greatly affect the tone and sound of the drum. Maple and birch are the most popular types of wood used to make drums.
Birch and maple woods are known for their durability and tonal characteristics, making them ideal for drum making. However, there are distinct differences between birch and maple drums that make them suitable for different musical styles and preferences.
Birch drums are known for their warm, rich tone and sharp attack. They are typically used in genres such as rock, punk, and metal, where a bright and cutting sound is desired. Birch drums are made from a combination of birch plies, which are layered and glued together to create a strong and stable shell. The number of plies used can vary, but six or seven plies are common in birch drum shells.
Birch drums are also known for their durability and strength, making them ideal for touring and live performances. They are relatively lightweight, which makes them easy to transport, and they have a natural look that can complement any stage setting.
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Maple drums, on the other hand, are known for their warm, rich, and full tone. They are typically used in genres such as jazz, blues, and fusion, where a warm and resonant sound is desired. Maple drums are made from a solid piece of maple wood, which is carved into a drum shell. The thickness of the maple shell can vary, but 6mm to 8mm is common for maple drum shells.
Maple drums are also known for their longevity and stability, making them ideal for studio recording and practice sessions. They are heavier than birch drums, but they produce a well-rounded sound that is ideal for a wide range of musical styles.
In terms of cost, maple drums tend to be more expensive than birch drums. This is due to the fact that maple is a premium wood and is harder to work with than birch. Maple drums also require more time and effort to make, as the solid maple shell must be carefully carved and sanded to create the perfect shape.
When choosing between birch and maple drums, it is important to consider the type of music you play and your personal preferences. Birch drums are ideal for genres that require a bright and cutting sound, while maple drums are ideal for genres that require a warm and resonant sound. Both birch and maple drums are durable and reliable, and they can both be customized with different hardware and finishes to match your style and preferences.
Oak is also a good choice for drum builders, but it's less popular. Oak drums are known for their warm, rich, and full tone. They produce a well-rounded sound that is ideal for a wide range of musical styles, including rock, jazz, blues, and fusion. The natural resonance of oak drums provides a balanced and deep sound that is ideal for both recording and live performances.
Oak is resistant to warping and cracking, making it a reliable choice for drum making. Oak drums are also known for their longevity, making them ideal for musicians who want a drum set that will last for years.
Oak drums are also known for their stability, making them ideal for musicians who play regularly. The solid oak shell provides a stable platform for the drum head, which helps to maintain consistent tuning over time. This stability is especially important for situations where consistent sound quality is critical.
Oak drums tend to be more expensive. This is due to the fact that oak is a premium wood that is harder to work with than other materials. The high cost of oak drums is offset by their longevity, reliability, and tonal characteristics.
OTHER DRUM MATERIALS
Metal: Metal drums, such as steel and brass, are often used for their bright and sharp sound. These drums are typically louder and longer-lasting than wooden drums, making them ideal for outdoor performances.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a modern material used to make drums. It is durable and produces a bright, cutting sound. Fiberglass drums are also relatively lightweight, making them easy to transport.
Acrylic: Acrylic drums are made of a transparent material that allows the player to see the internal workings of the drum. They produce a bright and cutting sound, making them ideal for modern musical styles.
PVC: PVC is a plastic material that is used to make low-cost drums. PVC drums are lightweight and easy to transport, making them a popular choice for beginner drummers.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned drummer, understanding the different materials used to make drums can help you choose the right instrument for your style and needs.