Though most drummers don't enjoy the process, knowing how to remove a bass drum head is an important part of instrument maintenance. Just like changing the strings on a guitar, changing the heads on the bass drum or any other drum in your drum kit will help maintain the sound, volume and tone you need to support the rest of your band.
Removing a bass drum head is relatively simple, and requires few tools. A drum key is useful but not always necessary.
To remove the bass drum head:
- Loosen the lugs. The lugs hold the drum head to the hoop. Lugs can be loosened by hand or with a drum key depending on which method works best for you and your drum. Do not loosen the lugs in order around the circumference of the drum. Instead, loosen one lug, then the lug opposite it, and proceed in a star pattern around the drum head. This keeps the tension even, reducing strain on the drum head, the hoop and the shell.
- Release the head from the hoop. Once the lugs have been loosened, you can lift the drum head away from the supporting hoop that normally holds it in place against the drum shell.
- Clean the inside of the drum shell. Now that the drum head has been removed, you can take the opportunity to wipe out the inside of the shell. This will keep the drum clean and prevent wear and tear that can result from debris moving around inside the drum. Collecting debris inside the shell can also affect the drum's overall sound.
Now that you've seen how to remove a bass drum head, you can replace the head with a new one, making sure your drum will sound just the way you want it to at your next rehearsal or gig.