Shells, sticks, hardware - everything that makes up your drum kit is an important decision for you to make as a drummer. One of the most crucial choices, though, has got to be your drum heads. Vital not only to how your drums sound but also to how they feel, the right heads are essential for your setup. If it's time to replace one of your favorite skins or if you're looking for a single upgrade to fine-tune the characteristics of a drum, this selection of individual drum heads is definitely the place to look. Once upon a time, drum heads were made exclusively of animal hide. Today, some genuine and synthetic hide options are still available, but the real sweet spot has been in plastic heads ever since Chick Evans created the first ones in the 1950s. Plastic is much tougher and easier to care for than hide, can withstand even tighter tunings and allows you to be as hard on the drums as you want.
If you're looking for an authentic vintage sound, check out a synthetic like Remo's Fiberskyn heads; otherwise, turn your attention to the plastics. Most modern plastic drum heads are two-ply, meaning that there are two layers of material put together to increase strength. Some are thinner and some are thicker, which affects the weight of the drum's tone as well as the durability of the head. Opt for a thinner head if you need the clear, popping percussion sounds of classic rock or a thicker one if it needs to stand up to high-octane heavy metal power drumming. If you've got an eye for specialty gear, have a look at Evans' hydraulic drum heads. At first glance, they may look like ordinary two-ply drum heads, but they hide a secret: in between the two plastic layers lies a thin oil filling. This cuts down resonance and brings out fundamentals and overtones in the drum, creating a punchy, wet sound that evokes memories of 1970s recording studios. Like any other instrument part, drum heads are constantly being re-invented and improved upon. The result of that is what you can see in this section: a great range of high-end individual drum heads that deliver big sounds and great tactile feedback. All that's left is to do some experimentation and find out which heads are the right ones to create your own signature percussion sound.