Don’t feel silly if you’re not getting anywhere. Drum kit tuning can seem like a minefield… that’s because it is! Guitars and Bass plug into their tuner and 1 minute later they are good to go. Drums on the other hand… to be honest most of the time sound awful.
I’m constantly amazed at how long and difficult most tuning methods are. Don’t get sucked in.
The 2 main systems of tuning that are around these days are what i’ll call ‘the tap around the edge method’ and the ‘Tune Bot’ route. Multiple other gadgets and theories come and go daily which fail miserably. The traditional and most common method of ‘tapping around the edge’ (for what? i don’t know) never worked for me. After years of trying to do this, i had very unsatisfactory results. If me as a full time professional drummer struggles with this method i can only imagine how frustrating it would be as a beginner drummer.
The Tune Bot i have found to give decent results on the toms. But on the Kick & Snare, i found it very hit and miss. The downside with regards to the tune bot method is that it is a little time consuming and what happens if you forget to bring it to the gig? What if you run out of batteries?! You also need to focus and have a quiet environment. Sometimes this is just not realistic. Also it costs around $150. You still can’t tune your kit, the gadget is doing it!
Years ago I reached a point where i had enough of my gear sounding horrible. Even as a pro musician i was taking kits to friends to tune for me before heading into sessions and huge gigs.
I drew a line in the sand and vowed to get to the bottom of this drum tuning mess.