• Wish list
  • Choose your store
    All countries
  • 0

Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Snare Drums

3. Snare Wires

Snare wires are the snare drum’s defining feature and create its characteristic crisp sound. Strands of coiled wire are stretched across the bottom drumhead so that when struck, they vibrate crisply against it. Each snare note is made up of the sound of the stick striking the top head and the sound of the snares rattling against the bottom head.

The tension of the wires against the head, their material and number all have a great effect on the tone of the snare drum.

Number of Wires

Snare drum wires are available with anything from 8 to 42 wires. The most popular drum kit styles use 12 to 24 wires, which are attached to small metal brackets that attach to the snare strainer and butt plate via wires, snare string or plastic strips. The more wires a snare has the more they influence the drum sound; fewer wires allow a more pure drum sound. Generally, more wires will result in a crisper, brighter sound. While using more wires adds articulation, they can dampen or even choke a drum’s sound. Changing the wires is one of least expensive ways to dramatically change the sound of a snare drum.

Type of Wire

Snare wires are usually made from coiled wire in a spiral shape that creates crisp bright tone. The most common wires are made from chrome-plated steel. Historically, the snares were made from animal gut stretched across the bottom head. Gut snares had a very dark, dry tone compared to wire snares. Today, the sound is often imitated using plastic wires and the sound is still part of every orchestral snare drummer’s arsenal. Many different metal processes and materials are used to create snare wires including steel, phosphor bronze, chrome-plated and lacquer-coated alloys. Some manufacturers have begun making snare wire from different gauges of wire, guitar strings, braided wire and wires with different coil patterns. The sound tends to be darker and drier than that heard from chrome-plated coiled steel wires.

Snare Tension

If you use less snare tension the drum tone will become darker and the snares wires will buzz more. This is useful if you are playing a lot of buzz rolls or want to reduce the drum’s brightness and articulation when playing a slower song. The more you tighten the snares the brighter the tone and greater the drum’s articulation becomes, which is useful when playing fast music or if you use a lot of rudiments. There are many intermediate tensions that should be explored so you can find your ideal setting. It’s also not uncommon for professionals to adjust the snare tension to suit the song being played.

Scottish Pipe Band drummers use a specially designed marching snare drum that has a second mechanism and set of snares on the inside of the drum that press into the batter head and give an incredibly articulate, bright and staccato sound. However, most drums today, and practically all drum kit snares use just one set of metal wires under the resonant head. In Latin music, the wires are often released from the bottom head giving a sound similar to a Timbale. Many drummers also choose to disengage the snare wires for a darker tone when with playing brushes.

Your Contact People
Phone: +49-9546-9223-40
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Get Your Free Copy of our Hot Deals Catalogue!

More than 7.800.000 musicians are avid readers of Thomann's Hot Deals catalogue. Get your free copy now! More than 500 current offers!

Hot Deals
Question!
Question! Give the right answer and win 1x Thomann Rack Case 6U worth 68 €.
Which of the following is a known drum maker?
Conditions of participation
Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
  4. Announcing the winner

    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
    4. An exchange, cash alternative or replacement prize is not possible.
    5. The claim to the prize or replacement of the prize cannot be assigned to a third party.
  5. Data protection

    1. The participant accepts explicitly that Thomann GmbH saves all necessary data for the duration of the competition and forwards them exclusively for purposes related to the winning process to the respective cooperation partner, who is also permitted to save the personal data only for the duration of the competition. The participant is free to withdraw his entry at any time. Please direct the withdrawal to:

      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
      Hans-Thomann-Straße 1
      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
  6. Liability

    1. Thomann GmbH will be released from any obligations by handing out the prize.
    2. Thomann GmbH is not liable for the insolvency of a cooperation partner and the resulting consequences for the implementation and processing of the competition.
  7. Other

    1. Legal proceedings are barred.
    2. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies exclusively.
One of our groupies
I'm already looking forward to my future orders at your cyberstore. Say it LOUD......Thomann ROCKS!!!!
jelxxxma4@gxxx.com, 16.12.2016

Snare Drums overview

Feedback

Found an error or want to give us feedback about this page?

We're looking forward to hearing from you and aim to solve any problems as soon as we can.

cancel