Knowing how to tune a hi tom drum: top and bottom helps ensure that your hi tom drum fills out the high end of your kit's tones. The differing pitches provided by your tom drums add texture to the sound of your drum kit.
Tom drums have two heads – the batter head, which is struck to play the drum, and the resonant head on the bottom of the drum. Tuning these heads into tones that hold the proper relation with each other rounds out your sound and creates pleasant overtones when interacting with the rest of the drum kit. To tune your hi tom drum, you'll need:
- Drum key
- Start with the batter head. This head creates the majority of the sound. In general, the hi tom is tuned just below the snare drum, but there is no specific required note to which it should be tuned. Exactly how high both the snare and the hi tom are tuned is up to the personal tastes of the drummer. Use the drum key or your fingers to adjust the nuts evenly around the circumference of the drum until the same tone occurs when the drum skin is struck a few inches away from each individual nut.
- Tune the resonant head. Usually, the bottom head on the hi tom drum is tuned a fourth or a fifth lower than the batter head. Find a tone that creates a pleasant overtone with the batter head when the drum is played. Tones used on the tom drums will also depend on what tones are used for the snare and the kick drum, since some tones will resonate better with these other parts of the drum kit.
The hi tom drum will need to be retuned periodically, whenever the sound drifts from how you want it to sound, and whenever the heads are changed. Knowing how to tune the hi tom drum: top and bottom will make this process quick and easy and keep your drums sounding great.