What is a snare drum?
The snare drum is a percussion instrument with a vibrating tone (mostly metal) on its bottom skin called the tone skin or resonant skin. It is one of the main elements of the drum set. It is placed in front of the drummer, between the legs. Because of the presence of this characteristic vibrating tone, this instrument has a more metallic, clearer sound than the other shells (which do not have it). Hence the name snare drum.
The sound of a snare drum
The snare drum is composed of: a shell that can be made of wood, aluminum, steel, stainless steel, acrylic, fiberglass, carbon, brass, copper, etc. They come in many diameters: 14 inches (the most common); 13 inches; 12 inches (> see Studio Pocket snare drum); etc.
Multiple depths of snare drums are available depending on the desired effect from 4 inches (Piccolo) to 8 inches deep. The shallowest are the snappiest,
the deeper ones offer more resonance. The most versatile are generally 14 inches in diameter and 5.5 or 6.5 inches deep.
Our snare drum
A snare drum is equipped with two skins:
- a striking skin generally white 'sanded' (or Coated) to be able to play brooms as well
- a resonance skin traditionally transparent and thinner than tom resonance skins (3 or 5 thousandths) for a better response to the vibrations of the timbre.
A snare drum is also equipped with a trigger, a metal handle mounted on the left side of the shell which allows to trigger (plate) or to trigger (unplate) the sound of the resonant skin: the drummer has the choice to activate or not the metallic sound of his snare drum via this trigger.
The snare drum is placed on a metal tripod that can be adjusted in height (called a snare drum stand)
The snare wire
In the past, military drums were made of natural gut... This is still the case. On a snare drum, the principle is the same: a snare drum wire's is made of a strip of twisted metal wires, fixed under the snare drum. It is the timbre that comes into contact with the resonant (or timbre) skin once it is tensioned via the trigger.