[Music] Custom Snare Drum Build

Though I don't cover it as much on this blog, music is definitely one of my biggest passions - with the drums being my favorite instrument. On the side, I occasionally build drums (read: very occasionally). I just don't have the money to pump out drums all the time, but I do have friends that are interested in getting some custom drums made. That is how this build came to be.

I was talking drums with my friend, Sam, and the topic of snare drums came up. Long story short, he wanted a new one. I told him that I built my personal main workhorse snare and that I could come up with something for him. We started planning it out - shell, size, hardware, finish, etc. and I got to building. After a few weeks of hard work, she's officially done.

The majority of the time spent came from the finishing process. Each coat of stain or finish takes at least a full day to dry before the next coat can be applied. This particular satin finish took me quite a few coats to get right, but in the end, it's totally worth it.

As far as details go, she's made up of a 14x5.5 maple Keller shell with chrome tube lugs, wood hoops, and a deep brown stain with a satin finish. I put an Aquarian Texture Coated Center Dot head on the batter side and an Aquarian Classic Clear Snare Side on the snare side. Finally, I threw a set of 24 strand Fat Cat snares on there. To sum it up for you non-drummer folk, she's quite lovely.

This is my first experience with wood hoops, and needless to say, I'm in love. Wood hoops carry a hefty price tag, but they are totally worth it. Not only are they drop dead gorgeous and just pure classy, they sound amazing.

I also fell in love with the Fat Cat snares. You can get a ton of different sounds out of them thanks to the two sections that are adjustable independently of one another. It's like having two separate strainers. I'll be getting some for my personal snare drums.

Oh, "How does it sound?" you ask? The answer lies below. Here's a quick video I shot.


Audio details are as follows: GLS ES-57 (SM57 copy, brilliant, especially for the price paid, just read all the reviews on this thing) on the batter head, Karma K-Micro Silver Bullet small diaphragm condensor on the snare side, and a pair of Karma K-Micro Silver Bullets on overheads. No EQ was used, so you're hearing the pure audio signal with a tad bit of compression.

I had a great time building this beauty and I'll be sad to see her go. I honestly want to hold onto her and call her my own. Who knows? Maybe Sam won't ever see her.