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Wood Vs. Metal Snare Drums For Rock Drumming

Dave Atkinson  /  UPDATED Aug 22, 2022

It can be overwhelming choosing a snare drum with all the unique types of materials they come in. The best rule of thumb is if it sounds good to you, use it.

Here’s a demonstration (with the same beat and microphone) of each of the most popular wood and metal snare drum types used in rock music to help give you a little direction:

  • Birch is a dense wood that has a sharp, focused sound. A common choice for live settings where you need big projection. The one in this video is a Pearl Masters birch.
  • Maple is a common choice for recording. It was a warm tone and covers an even range of frequencies. The one in this video is a Sonor Prolite maple.
  • Walnut falls into the lighter category of woods. Responsive feel that sounds great in both low and high tunings. The one in this video is a Woods walnut.
  • Oak is one of the most durable woods that boasts a low, round tone. The one in this video is a Yamaha Oak Custom.
  • Brass offers poppy and crispy sound characteristics that can easily cut through louder music when needed.
    The one in this video is a Pearl brass.
  • Steel has a long sustain, bright tone, and is fairly inexpensive to produce. The one in this video is a Dunnett Steel.
  • Aluminum has a short sound and generally doesn’t require any dampening when played. Much drier when compared to other metals. The one in this video is a Yamaha aluminum.
  • Titanium possesses a neutral, dry tone that can sit comfortably in all tuning ranges. The one in this video is a Dunnett (Drumeo branded) titanium 13″.

Dave Atkinson is passionate about inspiring positive change through music. With over 24 years of playing and studying music as a multi-instrumentalist, Dave has helped thousands of musicians reach their goals through developing Musora’s core curriculum and engaging content for the modern musician.

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