Tuning Drums – Tune The Best Snare Drum With the Udo Masshoff Method

If you’re frustrated by tuning drums, you aren’t alone. There is an art to making a drum sound great, and like so many other parts of music, tuning your drum kit needs to be practiced. At the heart and soul of any drum sound is the snare. It’s the most audible piece on the kit, and also the most versatile.

A snare drum can either make a kit sound great, or awful. Learning to get the best snare drum sound possible is important. Luckily, the “drum tuning guru” Udo Masshoff has a handy new trick to share with everyone.

What is the Udo Masshoff Snare Tuning Method?

Udo Masshoff is a drummer, drum tech, and a highly awarded sound engineer.  He has been around in the business of recording drums for many years. Udo has spent a lot of time refining his craft, and through the help of Evans Drumheads, he has put on tape one of his secret methods to tuning his own snare drums:

Masshoff’s Method Broken Down:

To tune your own snare drum in a similar manner, here is a simple step by step guide that you can refer to:

  1. Tighten the bottom snare head very tight with roughly 1.5-2 turns on each lug. (Creates great snare wire response, and allows easy manipulation of the batter head sound.)
  2. Flip the snare drum over, and tighten each lug on the batter head with one full turn.
  3. Tighten the 12:00 lug one full turn.
  4. Tighten the 11:00 and 1:00 lug half a turn.
  5. Loosen the 5:00 and 7:00 lugs 1.5 turns.
  6. Make the 6:00 lug fully loose.
  7. Tighten and lower the remaining screws to change the tone. These can either go higher or lower to match whatever sound you are going for.

This method is especially interesting, because it gives you very quick versatility of any drum sound you desire. If you want a fat dry sound, simply tune the bottom lugs down a bit more. But, if you are looking for a tighter, funkier sound, tighten up the bottom lugs higher.

And there you have it. A quick and easy guide to tuning drums. Or your snare drum at least. You can learn more about Udo Masshoff and his custom drum company Masshoff Drums if you’d like.


  1. Phill Johnsonsays:

    Hello Udo, i love your tuning trick, which i first saw on youtube. One quick question, would there be any risk of damaging the hoop or the angled edge for the head by doing your tuning method? It,s just that the comments on youtube complain about that specific topic. My snare drum is a Pearl free floating brass.I love the drums that you make but not sure if Australia gets them in.Cheers Phill.

  2. Deuce heckmansays:

    Udo…..love the way you tune the snare on utube….may I ask which Evans head you were using….. thanks!

    • Hey Deuce!

      I unfortunately am not Udo. This is just a post about Udo’s tuning method. I tried to see what type of head he was using, but couldn’t really make it out. My guess is that he’s just using a standard G1 (Genera) Coated, but I can’t be certain.

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