# Drum Resonance Physics: Understanding How Tunings Affect Frequency

• jp1390
In summary, the topic of tuning drums involves understanding the different modes of oscillation in circular membranes and how they are affected by the presence of a second head and air movement in the cavity. Drummers can choose to tune their heads to match or differ from each other, but in either case, the fundamental frequency of the drum when struck is lower than the individual head tunings. This phenomenon is further explained in academic sources such as HyperPhysics and in discussions on drum miking techniques.
jp1390
Hello,

I have recently picked up drumming and the topic of tuning has peaked my interest. I have gone over numerous sources (academic theses, Wikipedia, HyperPhysics, etc.) trying to piece together what is occurring when drums (right now tom with two heads, batter and resonant, are of most interest to me) are struck.

From what I can see, is that circular membranes have many interesting modes of oscillation that are not integer multiples due to their 2-D geometry. HyperPhysics and a few other sources have nice representations of some of these lower modes.

With that being said, the above helps explain what the membrane is doing when struck, but in the case of a drum with two heads separated by a length L, the sound is also affected by air moving back and forth in the cavity as a closed tube (with small exit holes).

In practice, based on personal preference, drummers will either tune their batter and resonant heads to match or differ from one another. In either case, the open-tone (fundamental) frequency of the drum when struck does not match either of the heads, but ends up being lower.

At the end of the day, how do the circular membrane tensions/tunings of both heads along with the closed-tube effect work to produce a fundamental tone of a drum?

calvinrose

## What is drum resonance?

Drum resonance is the natural vibration or sound produced by a drum when it is struck. It is caused by the interaction of the drumhead, shell, and air inside the drum.

## How does tuning affect drum resonance?

Tuning affects drum resonance by changing the tension of the drumhead, which in turn affects the frequency of the drum's vibrations. A higher tension results in a higher frequency and a brighter sound, while a lower tension results in a lower frequency and a deeper sound.

## What is the relationship between drum size and resonance?

The size of a drum directly affects its resonance. Larger drums have a lower frequency and longer sustain, while smaller drums have a higher frequency and shorter sustain.

## Why is understanding drum resonance important for drummers?

Understanding drum resonance allows drummers to control the sound and tone of their drums. By adjusting the tuning, they can create different frequencies and sustain to achieve the desired sound for a particular style of music.

## What other factors besides tuning can affect drum resonance?

Besides tuning, other factors that can affect drum resonance include the type of drumhead, the material and thickness of the drum shell, and the type of bearing edge. These factors can also impact the tone and sustain of a drum.

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