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Old 15-10-09, 10:12 PM   #1
CELTWORKS
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Default Bass drum pitch

Hi All; Just wondering how you set up the pitch on your bass drum for competition. I am sure there are a few different ways to do this and would appreciate some guidance from all you experienced bass drummers.
Cheers
David
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Old 15-10-09, 11:11 PM   #2
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Since I am the band tuning reference most of the time, our Bass drummer/ human metronome tunes with my drones.
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Old 16-10-09, 04:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CELTWORKS View Post
Hi All; Just wondering how you set up the pitch on your bass drum for competition. I am sure there are a few different ways to do this and would appreciate some guidance from all you experienced bass drummers.
Cheers
David
To the bass drone, my friend...it's a zen thing for me! Ddddddddddrummmmmmm!
Cheers!
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Old 16-10-09, 07:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CELTWORKS View Post
Hi All; Just wondering how you set up the pitch on your bass drum for competition. I am sure there are a few different ways to do this and would appreciate some guidance from all you experienced bass drummers.
Cheers
David
Set to the bass drone, there are meter settings you can use for all bass section drums, I am sure I gave Robbie a list of the settings?
Kaily
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Old 16-10-09, 04:02 PM   #5
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And i am sure that robbie will have promptly lost them after he printed them off... You've seen my organisation skills :P
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Old 16-10-09, 09:38 PM   #6
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Default bass drum pitch

These are the settings I use:

bass drum: B flat or A sharp
( set to piper`s bass drone which will probably be one of these two settings)

18" baritone drum: C flat or D sharp

16" tenor drum: F flat or F sharp

Alto drum: tune to just above 16" tenor drum pitch.

Kaily
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Old 20-10-09, 02:54 PM   #7
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if you has bigger sizes is there a way to work out the pitch? my brother is looking at buying a marching band bass drum which is.... wait forret... 30 inches diameter!!!!! is tat genna be a G or even a F??? what pitch is we genna gotfor that??????!?!?!?!? is that genna be too low for the drone?
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Old 20-10-09, 03:20 PM   #8
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A 30 inch diameter drum - my, my, my...

If I was intentionally looking for a drum of that diameter, the only reason I can think of would pe to tune it below the "normal" tuning - so probably a third or fourth below the bass drone. So, if you think in "concert" terms, the F or G below the drone's Bb. Or, if you think in "bagpipe" terms, the E of F below the drone's A.

With the usual disclaimer in place ("Depending on heads, dampening, mallet selection and technique...") I see no reason why that should not be achievable.

Personally, having experimented a bit, it is not my cup of tea. I know some bands like the earth-shuddering sound that may result from that. Not me.
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Old 23-10-09, 06:45 PM   #9
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I only use my tuning meter as a rough guide for setting each drum. I prefer setting my whole drum corps sound by the "ear" method.

I stand back from the corps and if a drum sounds a bit out of balance with the other drums I will adjust the pitch until I have a nice balanced sound which is in complete harmony with the sound of the pipes.
No matter what size of a drum you are tuning remember your drums should be tuned and played in such a way as to compliment the complete band sound.

If your drums are not in harmony with the pipers sound or are played in such a way as to be too dominant the adjudicators at competitions will not be long pointing this out to you.
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Old 26-10-09, 09:28 PM   #10
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I have always used the shell pitch to determine tuning. If you tap the shell of the drum with the heads off or just loose, you can hear the sound of teh wood and what the natural tone is. the drum will be the most responsive when tuned to its natural note.
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