A snare drum works as the core component, soul of a drummer's signature sound. Especially in songs with a fast and upbeat tempo, it's the snare drums that add life to the track. Whether it's just a simple acoustic love ballad with a piano and drum loop, or jazz, hip-hop, or a rock track with intense frequential synergy going on, snare drums will do you wonders! In this article, we've put together a list of the Best Snare Drums in 2021 - we've carefully curated a list comprising of snare drums that are not only great for beginners but would also click well with advanced musicians! And in case you're new to this, at the end of this article, you'll also find a buying guide that will help you choose a nice snare for your drum kit!
Most experienced and well-versed drummers will normally have more than a single snare drum - primarily because it's the one that can define your sound the most.
However, this article is mainly targeted towards people who have a little-to-no experience with drums. Especially if you're a parent and clueless about what to get for your child as a birthday gift, or maybe they just joined their school band and you're planning to give them a headstart with a nice beginner snare drum.
We'll make sure to hook you up with a plethora of information. Also, if you're an aspiring drummer planning to grow over time, we've got a pretty versatile selection to make sure you don't feel left out either. This section will help you choose a snare drum so you're not fretting about what option to go for when you're scouring through the products! So, without any further ado, let's dig in.
Things To Consider When Buying A Snare Drum
Before you put a pin on that snare, there are a few things you can look into to ensure that a snare drum will do the job and grow over time. Here are a few things to get you going:
The size of the snare you should get comes down to the sound you're planning to get out from it. If you want a huge growling sound out of it, you should get a 14" inch snare with ample depth.
Similarly, if you're planning to get a high cracking attack out of your snare, you should get a shallower one. Most snare drums are either 14", 13", or 12" big. There are smaller ones out there that are considered Auxiliary snare drums.
Taking the genre into consideration isn't something you should be worrying about at a beginner level. However, if you want your instrument to stay with you over time without having to invest again right after a few months, it's best that you get your hands on a snare drum that helps you excel in your desired genre!
For instance, if you're planning to play for a rock band or that's the kind of music you dream to make, you should get a snare with a rich, high-cracking attack.
The drumheads are made of plastic or calfskin and they're on both sides of your drum. The top one is called the "batter" head and you strike it to create a drum sound. The sound waves then go down, hit the "resonant" head to create that crisp snare sound.
A drumhead plays role in defining the signature sound of a snare as well - in addition to the depth and length of the snare.
Tension Bolts and Lugs
Drumheads are kept in place with the help of hoops that are further screwed with tension bolts and into the lugs that are attached to the shell. The higher the number of lugs in your drumhead, the tighter will be the tension on the snare's surface, and the higher will be the pitch of the snare produced with it.
When it comes to sound, snare drums with wooden shells will produce a warmer sound as compared to metal ones. The most common types of wood used for this purpose is maple, birch, or mahogany. Maple produces the warmest, refined sound, birch goes for more of a well-blending and focused sound. Mahogany snares help produce a deeper sound.
On the other hand, drums made up of metal produce a sharp sound that pierces through the overall sound of a band.
The depth of a drum can help you identify if it will have a high or low pitch. 5-inch deep shells will have a higher pitch as compared to a snare with 6.5-inch depth - the latter will blend and support the track well!
Types Of Snare Drums
In case you decide to zero in on different types of snare drums out there, here are the principle types of snare drums:
Drum Set Snare
This snare is your famous, idiomatic snare used in jazz, pop, country, hip-hop, etc.
A Tarol is very much like the drum set snare but has snare wires on the top head instead of the bottom head.
The orchestral snare is also like your basic drum-kit snare but this one will always have a calfskin head instead of a plastic one.
A marching snare has a nylon or gut drum head and produces a larger, resonant head sound. The loud drumbeat you hear during marches, that's the marching snare.
How Much Does A Good Snare Drum Cost?
Most snare drums cost between $500 - $1000. The ones we've listed above, they're all intermediate, beginner-level snare drums and cost below $500.
You may also find a snare drum costing over $1000 - that would either be a special model or a custom-made product. Snare drums cost a lot, it's true - but they are well worth it, considering it's the snares that you hit the most while drumming.
Snare Drum for Beginners FAQ
Q: What are snare drum heads?
A: The snare drum head is the part of the drum that vibrates back and forth to create the rhythmic beating. This is done by way of a series of steel balls or plates set into the head. The balls are balanced between two steel drums that sit at either end of each rack, with one of them being directly in front of your snaring end. The top end is known as "batter" and "resonant".
Q: Are deeper snared louder?
A: A basic rule of thumb is, shallower snares produce a tighter and louder sound. On the contrary, a deeper snare produces a lower sound. However, when tuned low, a deeper snare tends to produce a fatter sound that is not necessarily low either.
Q: How many parts does a snare drum have?
A: A snare drum is normally divided into three parts; the drum shell, the drum heads, and supplemental hardware that usually contains lugs, tension rods, rim, and hoops, etc.
Derek is a professional musician who specializes in percussion and works with the independent WGI group Cap City Percussion. With a Bachelors of Music from Capital University, specializing in Music Industry studies, he consistently finds himself playing and teaching percussion to anyone who has the will to learn. Derek is also a former member of DCI groups Legends (2014-15) and Colts (2016-18); he is also the percussion technician and instructor of the drum line at Olentangy High School. You may find him playing a gig throughout the greater Columbus, Ohio area.