Drumming is a very physical art, which means that it demands a close feel for what you're doing. It's also a vital part of a band's sound, so great tone and power are essential. A drum head is responsible for both of these aspects of drumming, so it's definitely a critical choice. With well-built, durable heads on your drums, you can be sure that they'll deliver the amazing feel and sound that you rely on every time you take the stage. In the early days, drum heads were made of stretched animal hide. Then, pioneering work by Chick Evans in the 1950s created the first plastic film drum heads, which went on to evolve into the modern versions on the market today. The move to plastic was an overwhelmingly positive change for drum heads, making them more resilient and longer-lasting while freeing drummers to pound their cans harder than they ever could before.
When picking out your new drum heads, pay attention to the thickness and material options available to you. The gold standard of heads is the traditional two-ply design, which provides plenty of strength and power for any genre. You can find thinner and thicker heads which have their own unique characteristics, and for drums like the bongo or conga, synthetic and genuine hide heads are an option to help preserve that authentic sound. Browse carefully, and think about exactly what you want to get out of your drum. If you're looking for a really unique drum head, the hydraulic heads from Evans are worth a close look. These are two-ply heads with a special oil filling between the plastic layers, dampening resonance and boosting overtones to give the drum a bold, damp sound reminiscent of recordings from the 1970s. Every sound you play on the drums, from light taps to overpowering builds and fills, relies on your drum heads. Fortunately, the advances made in drum head design over the years have led to an incredible range of great heads to choose from. Just like a guitarist might experiment with different preamp tubes to create an individualized amp tone, finding the right set of heads is a fundamental way to discover your own signature drum sound.
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