this tour life

quick tour tip: floor tom


Tuning a drum kit show after show can be challenging, everyday there are many factors that affect the over all sound of the drums- shape of the room, the PA, humidity level, and temperature to name a few. Even the best drum techs have experienced fighting with a floor tom that just won’t cooperate from time to time. One uncommon  solution when dealing with an unruly floor tom is to flip one of the floor tom legs upside down. Sound odd? Let me explain…


drum_vibratingThe rubber feet and the bend in the floor tom legs serve a dual purpose- they are meant to help your floor tom stay in place and also allow the drum to resonate more like a hanging tom. Different companies use different angles and materials to achieve unique sound characteristics. Its all about the dispersal of the energy that is transferred when the drum head is struck. The bend in the floor tom legs can act similarly to a spring, absorbing energy and allowing the shell of the drum to resonate along with the drum head (older floor tom legs usually have a straighter profile which reduces this effect).


drum_flipWhen one of the floor tom legs is flipped you essentially “choke” the drum reducing the amount of energy released through the resonating drum shell. The vibration of the drum becomes more focused on the drum head because the shell is more stable (path of least resistance). You can use this as a way to help tune your floor tom, trying different combinations of flipped/unflipped legs.


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