The center piece of every drum kit is the snare drum. Beyond being the center piece of the modern drum set, the snare drum provides the soul of the sound that any set produces. The importance of snare drum cannot be over stated. Many professional bands ensure that their drummer uses different snare drums from different songs in order to subtly modify the tone of the music.
The tonal variations between snare drums arise as a result of the construction materials used in their creation. Snare drums, or rather snare drum shells, were traditionally made from either a singular ply of wood of homogeneous material or from a multiple plys made from several different tree varieties. Different types of wooden shells produce varying types of sounds.
As both time and technology have progressed the materials that snare drums are made from have come to be more diversified to include plastics, metals, and even glass, but each material still tends to produce a signature sound. This tonal variation by material is an important factor to keep in mind before you buy a snare drum.
Best Beginner Snare Drum
Ludwig Supraphonic Black Beauty
Griffin Snare Drum 14″ x 5.5″ Wood Shell
Another distinct feature of the snare drum is the combination of both bottom and top drum heads. The drum can be played with both heads stretched on to give a brighter sound or it can be played with the bottom head off to produce a deeper open drum sound. The ability to switch between bright and deep sounds is achieved through a snare drum throw off.
This device features a tensioner which can also be used to adjust the snare strands and modify the sound produced by the drum. Finally snare drums sport lug heads and tension rods which are used as a means to tune the drum.
Apart from developing unique tones when constructed with unique materials snare drums also come in a range of varieties. These types of snare drums a customized to fit specific music genres which can range from marching band snares to micro drums and from orchestral snares to modern drum set snares. In our reviews, however, we will just be covering the drum set snare type.
Snare drum review
Ludwig is possibly the oldest names in the American percussion instrument world and possibly one of the best sounding snare drum that we reviewed. As a brand they have been responsible for some of the biggest developments in modern drumming history. The Supraphonic Black Beauty at a high-end selling price on amazon is no disappointment to its brand name. If you’re looking for some cheap snare drums then this definitely is not for you.
The Black Beauty snare drum is truly awe-inspiring to hear in action. The sound quality it produces is almost without peer. That being said, it is quite expensive and with good reason, considering all the work that goes into making one of these instruments. The look and feel of this product is superb as well. This is definitely the sort of drum that a professional drummer would be proud to have in their set.
One of the key selling points for this drum is that everyone loves it. No matter what seller you purchase this item from you will find stellar ratings and customer reviews. You can be sure that when you purchase this product you are getting the best deal.
- Outstanding quality
- Beautiful design
- Top notch brand
- Quite expensive
Next on our list is the Griffin 14″wooden shell snare drum. Selling at a much more comfortable low price on amazon, the Griffin is actually a surprisingly good snare drum . Although it can’t quite compete with the Ludwig in terms of sheer quality, it is a great substitute if you are on a really tight budget.
One of the best features of this drum is its ease of tuning. It also manages to produce high quality sounds, much to the surprise of many professional drummers. This snare drum makes a great addition to a beginner’s set and can also come in handy for a more experienced drummer’s back up practice set. The griffin is also made from quite durable material and in its black coloration looks pretty good on display.
- Good sound
- Made from good materials
- Looks good
- Great price
- Materials still could be better
At this price point, the Mapex comes right in between the towering Ludwig and the Griffin. The MPX 14″ Snare is just one of those amazing well rounded products that you have to applaud. This drum is favored by many experienced drummers as it provides beautiful sound output. In many ways this may be the best snare drum to buy.
It’s nowhere near as expensive as the Ludwig, but it plays at comparable sound quality. The Mapex snare is also built strong and so will likely give you many hours of practice or a lot of great performances. To cap it off, the MPX looks and feels elegant.
It goes without saying that this is one of the highest rated snare drums on amazon at the moment.
- Great price
- Exceptional sound quality
- Looks good
- Favored by experienced drummers
- More suited to advanced drummers than beginners
Snare drums are a unique piece of any drum kit that in many ways defines the drum kit itself, or at least the music being played on it. As result, most experienced drummers take this instrument seriously and put a lot of thought and care into what they buy and how they tune it. If you are new to drumming then we would recommend that you go with the Griffin snare drum that we reviewed.
Furthermore, as a beginner, make sure you invest time in getting to the sare drum properly: especially where tuning and maintenance is concerned. On the other, if you are experienced, then depending on your budget you may go with either the Ludwig or the Mapex. Just ensure that you put real thought into it first and go with whatever will bring the soul out in your music.