Glen Allman Posts

Snare Drum Maintenance Part 1 – Snare Wires

Welcome to part one of our series on snare drum maintenance. In this series we’ll be discussing the common maintenance and upkeep that should be done to care for concert and drum set snares.

We’ll begin by discussing one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of snare drums: the snare wires. Much like drum heads, snare wires have a significant influence on the sound and performance of a drum, but unfortunately, they are often neglected.

How do you know when wires are worn and need replaced? There are two easy ways to spot a bad set of snare wires.

First, look for damage, including broken or warped strands. Individual strands that are not straight have more room to move and will vibrate longer than desired. The wires of this snare are warped, and caused excessive buzz.

Worn snare wires.

Compare that with the wires of this snare, which are straight and undamaged.

Good snare wires.

If you have one or two strands that are warped you can easily remove them with a pair of pliers. If more than two strands are damaged it is probably time to replace the wires.

Second, listen for excessive buzz and sympathetic vibration. If your snares ring too much look for damaged and worn wires.

Fortunately, there are many choices for replacement snare wires. We will cover some of our favorite options, how to choose appropriate wires, and how to set up snare wires in an upcoming feature.

Stay tuned!

Ten Chances To See Great Music and Drummers in Indianapolis

stewart-copeland

1. Gov’t Mule with John Scofield, February 28th, The Egyptian Room at the Murat Theatre.

Drummer: Matt Abts

Gov’t Mule will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their eponymous, debut release with guitarist John Scofield on February 28th at The Egyptian Room at the Murat Theatre. Drummer Matt Abts

2. Sarah McLachlan, March 10th, Murat Theatre.

Drummer: Kurt Bisquera

Although often associated with depressing commercials for animal rights organizations, there’s much more to McLachlan. The Canadian pop singer and Lilith Fair cofounder will revisit many of her hits when she visits the Murat Theatre on March 10th. She will be backed by veteran session drummer Kurt Bisquera.

3. Farrelly Markiewicz Quartet, March 14th, The Jazz Kitchen.

Drummer: Gene Markiewicz

Our good friend, and Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Hall of Famer, Gene Markiewicz will appear with the Farrelly Markiewicz Quartet at the Jazz Kitchen on March 14th to pay tribute to Michael Brecker.

4. Stewart Copeland, March 27th, Clowes Hall.

The well-known drummer for The Police will visit Indianapolis with pianist Jon Kimura to perform chamber music. Their program will include Copeland’s original compositions and Parker’s adaptation of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”.

5. The Wayne Shorter Quarter, March 21st, The Palladium.

Drummer: Brian Blade

Legendary saxophonist Wayne Shorter will appear in Carmel with his quarter on March 21st. He will be backed by Brian Blade, a versatile jazz drummer who has worked with artists as diverse as Chick Corea, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joshua Redman, and Norah Jones.

6. Primus and The Chocolate Factory, April 12th, The Murat Theatre.

Drummer: Tim Alexander

Primus will return to Indianapolis on April 12th to perform their rendition of the soundtrack to “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” with backing from The Fungi Ensemble. Joining them will be original Primus drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander, who recently survived a heart attack.

7. Billy Cobham, April 17th, The Jazz Kitchen.

Legendary jazz drummer Billy Cobham is remembered as the first drummer of Mahavishnu Orchestra and for his extensive solo career. When he performs at the Jazz Kitchen on April 17th he will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Spectrum, his classic solo album.

8. Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, April 18th, The Palladium.

When jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea visit Carmel on April 18th neither will play drums or percussion, but that’s no reason to miss them. Both debuted with Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early 1970s and have remained at the forefront of music ever since.

9. Wilco, May 7th, Murat Theatre.

Drummer: Glenn Kotche

Since joining Wilco before their 2002 release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Glenn Kotche has become an integral part of the Chicago based band. Part drummer, part percussionist, Kotche’s creativity is unparalleled.

10. Funkadelic, May 14th, The Vogue.

Funkadelic, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton’s band, will visit Indianapolis to promote their 2014 release First Ya Gotta Shake The Gate. Expect all the psychedelic funkiness you can handle. The show is 21+ only.


About the Author
Glen Allman works part-time at Chops Percussion, mostly on Saturdays. He also builds and restores drums. You can learn more about Allman Drums at www.allmandrums.com.