Several trademark features identify modern rock drumming. It comes with such power and punch that has never been seen in the industry. In the earlier years, a rock drummer would record with only or two microphones, and they would work perfectly.
Modern engineers use more than two microphones on each drum in combination with a wide range of overhead room microphones.
Because of this, every drum head receives a large amount of attention across the studio setting. It is important to capture every sound perfectly, which makes it possible for you to get the best sounds overall.
Hence, it is crucial to have the right mix of a stick, head, and mic. This will get you much closer to the sound you expect to deliver for your audience.
But what are the best heads for rock drumming? This question may seem as simple as just going online and searching.
However, there is so much to this than what you may know. There are so many accessories brands on the market today, offering these products, all of which may not be good.
In this guide, I will be looking at several top brands and head types to make your work much easier.
Note that the drum head will not do the work itself. The sound produced from the best rock pieces combines different elements, especially from the player’s technique.
Other factors that will make your music come out clearly include the type of stick, the microphone, mic placement, and post mixing and recording.
Types of drum heads
There is a need to understand the types of drum heads before buying them. This will help you narrow down your search to something more specific items.
Generally, there are two main head types; coated and uncoated, most of which we shall be discussing in this guide. Their single and double-ply incarnation further defines there.
The coated heads produce a softer and more rounded tone, with a bit less attack. No matter the music genre you play, these heads will give the same effect.
Uncoated heads, on the other hand, offer more attack and definition. It is also very useful in any music style.
Both types of heads can easily give you a wide range of sounds. You can work around them using various production techniques like EQ and other balancing approaches.
Digital applications have become very useful in delivering enhanced output from the microphone. A good engineer will use them to increase or decrease the head characteristics. No will even be able to tell the difference once the final product is given out.
Adding a small boost in the EQ can go a very long way in adding a definition where it may have been missing before. This process improves the drum tone immensely.
In simple terms, it does not matter the type of drum head you choose. Any can make you good music, as long as you know how to use them.
However, you may want to consider carefully whether they are single ply or double ply.
Rock drumming, like metal, has some of the heaviest hitters. Single-ply drum heads are lighter and brighter. This is because they are thinner, and hence, they are also easy to break.
When the stage is erupting in the fire, the last thing you want is your drums bursting up because you have a weak head. It is one of the most embarrassing moments for drummers.
Double-ply heads, on the other hand, are much heavier. They are also colder in sound because of their thickness.
However, they are the most recommended for heavy heater since they can withstand more punishment. And with a little boost through technical features, you can always get the sound you want.
What kind of drum heads should I use?
Improving the sound of your drums does not mean you always have to buy new sets. Sometimes it is just as simple as replacing the old, won drum heads with new ones.
And for rock drummers, this may happen a lot more often than other music genres. Or perhaps you have just purchased a new drum, and the preinstalled heads are not the best quality. You can buy some new heads to make sure your drums sound just the way you expect them.
Before picking the best heads for rock, it is crucial to understand how drum heads are defined and what makes them different.
A drum head has two sides, the top and the bottom. The head that goes to the upper side, the one you hit, is called a batter head. And the head that goes to the bottom is called the resonant head. As the name suggests, resonant heads resonate when you hit the batter, making your drums sound way better and without overtones.
Also, we have already seen above that the heads with either single-ply two-ply construction.
Light heater prefers increased resonance of single-ply heads as seen in music like jazz, light rock, and acoustic. On the other hand, heavy-hitting in music genres like louder rock, funk, metal, and R & B like focused sound and durability, which is seen in heaver double-ply heads,
So, the first thing to note in the drum heads you want to use is their construction.
Next, the thickness of your drum head is also crucial. Thinner heads (single-ply) have a more sensitive response and offer a bright, resonant sound and complex overtones.
Such drums are more needed with lighter drums. On the other hand, thicker ply heads are defined by their durability and a brighter tuning range. They also carry less sustain and more attack than the thinner ones.
Two-ply heads deliver less pronounced attack and quicker decay. Some of the best heads of a single play on the market include Remo Ambassadors, Evans G Plus, and Aquarian Studio-X. For double-ply heads, there we have brands like Evans EC2, Remo Pinstripes, and
Aquarian Response2. Evans uses a unique two-ply hydraulic drum head systems that have oil sandwiched between the ply of the very dry sound, offering quick attack and short sustain,
Every drum head comes with different features that make it stand out. Manufacturers have been trying hard to ensure every product they create has a unique feature to offer. But most importantly, they want to deliver the best sounds in any music genre they are applied to.
This is why some batter heads have a black of clear dot affixed to the top or bottom silence excess ring. The result is a more focused and drier sound. This was originally done by applying a piece of duct tape to dampen the heads. Drummers who play with brushes to stick with heads find using dots very useful.
Many drum heads are made with clear or with white or black coating the deliver a soft muffing. Remo Pinstripes and similar drumheads have internal sound rings embedded around the outer perimeter, which controls excess ring, giving out a deep and wet tone with minimal resonance.
Bass drums generally come with some form of an internal dampening system on the batter head for a more controlled sound. Some resonant heads come with ported holes, mostly those for bass drums. Such heads are essential for those who want to mic their drums in a live or recording area.
Many other features define good drum heads. Your main focus should be on your drumming style.
The technological advancement in drumhead technology has evolved immensely over the past several years. Hence, there is always something for everyone if you seek well. You need to take your time identifying good products; otherwise, you will not like what you get very much.
The best Drum heads for rock reviewed
Remo is a top manufacturer for drum heads. And these Remo Emperor Clear drum heads are the best example of what they can do. They give out lots of attacks and projection, which makes them applicable to a wide range of music styles. The heads are very bright and used by many professional drummers in rock, funk, and many others.
The Remo Emperor was geared towards both beginner and professional drum sets. Some of the best manufacturers in the world install their drums with these heads.
If you are looking to upgrade your beginner drumming set for something most substantial, this is a great option for you. You will never go wrong with the choice.
Whether for toms, snare, or the kick, many top drummers have recommended these drum heads in the world.
- A popular product
- Offer great attack and projection
- They tend to have an increased sustain and resonance.
If you have been in the drumming industry for long, you have probably used an Evans drum head already. Their brilliant versatility defines these G2 Clear Drum Heads. They work well with all types of music genres.
They deliver an open response and a lot of clarity, useful for a modern drummer looking for a clear and well-rounded tone.
They are built with 2-plies of 7-mm film. Their sound has a perfect mixture of depth, sustain and attack which every rock drummer seeks for.
These heads are generally very good for a modern working drummer who can juggle between a wide range of music styles.
The heads are not only good the best sounding, but they are also very durable. As if that is not enough, you get a wide-range of tuning with the great overall sound, whether tuned high or low.
The drumheads show more overtone compared to the Pinstripe line of Remo. Their sounds are brighter and have better clarity in comparison.
Generally, the Evans G2 series is a wonderful set for your drums. There are, without a doubt, the best for rock and will give your drums the professional sound you need.
- Perfect for all drummers
- A clear and focused attack
- Versatile drum heads
- More sustain and overtones
The Evans Hydraulic Glass Drum Heads are one of my best products. They will deliver a fat and punchy sound with very little overtones, useful for rock drummers.
They comprise of 2-ply 6-mm film with another film of oil between the plies. These decreases sustain while enhancing the low-end attack.
One of the most important features of these heads is that they are very easy to tune. Beginners will find them very useful since they will never struggle with tuning. The bearing edges might not be perfect on some beginner drum heads, which may make it hard to get great sound from the drum.
The short and punchy sounds from these drum heads and ease of tuning make them the best drum heads for a beginner set.
These skins’ quality delivers a punchy and full sound, which gives more life to the drums. A lot of attack and durability also characterizes them as needed rock music and heavy heaters.
· Best for beginners
· Easy to tune
· Fat and punchy sound
- Less sensitivity and articulation
- Very ‘dead’ sounding
Remo has never disappointed when it comes to delivering high-end drum heads. And this wonderful snare drum head tells it all.
This is arguably the best snare drum head for a rock drummer. It features free-floating two plies of 10mm Mylar film and 5-mm reverse black dot. They are, therefore, thick, snare drum heads that deliver ultra-fat tones.
It comes off one of Remo’s most popular drum heads, especially among the heaviest hitters. It gives out a very satisfying pop and beautiful that will leave you asking for more.
The Remo Emperor X is known for its extreme durability. You can therefore be sure it will take all the punishment you throw on it while sounding incredibly clear.
In a nutshell, the Emperor X snare drum heads are one of the best heads you will ever have for your drums. They come with a wide tuning range that will ensure every sound you get is well measured.
It does not matter whether you tune it high or super low; the sounds will still be impressive. The best part is that these drum heads come highly recommended for rock drummers.
- The best drum head for rock music
- A wide range of tuning
- Very durable
- Double-ply means they are not very responsive
These Evans EMAD Heavyweight bass drum heads bear this name for a reason. They are seriously thick, featuring two 10-mm plies of film. It is therefore made for pounding.
It comes with two different foam dampening rings, which you can place on the front of the head, easily swap them out. This makes them even more versatile since you have the option to create three different sounds.
Play without the rings for more sustain, or choose between the two rings depending on the extend of dampening you want.
Using the head with dampening rings has a short sustain and more controlled sound from the heavy two-ply.
The drum head is made for the hardest hitters, and it will take in any punishment you though at it. The bass drum will not respond well to soft playing because of its thickness.
The true tone from the head sounds more like a click. Therefore, it will work well in any style where the bass drum is essential and needs to cut through. Metal and Rock drummers will love hitting these heads with all their energy.
You can also use the head for a worship setting where the bass drum is very crucial.
- Very durable
- Three different options for dampening rings
- No muffling needed
- It does not respond to soft playing
Remo makes high-quality drum heads, and all their products have been widely accepted. And their Pinstripe drum heads are among the most popular products out there. You will the on toms of most household drum kits.
And there are several reasons why they are very popular. For instance, they are 2-ply, which means they are easy to use. Their thickness controls the overtones of the drums well. You will not have to do a lot of dampening.
They are best when tuned low, delivering a big bright attack, followed by a deep tone, and with a great focus on the warmer side of drum sounds.
They are very durable too, which means you can actually play for a very long time without having to change.
It is highly recommended for rock and metal drummers. Their durability and ability to control sustain is all rock drummers need to deliver incredible music.
They are not suitable for jazz and other light drumming styles. They are clear heads are will not respond well to brushes.
- A low
- thud sounds
- No muffing
- Cannot work well with brushes
Best snare Head for rock
The taste of snare sounds varies from player to player. Therefore, it is very personal, and we can never tell for sure which snare head is easy.
The snare’s natural sound and frequency response make it the most audible drum in any drum set. Its sound largely lies around and above the mid-range, which rings to the ear naturally – which are designed to be more sensitive to. This is the same range the human voice also occupies, which is why you will hear the snare more.
If you are looking for a dedicated snare head, Remo WeatherKing should be a good place to start. It is one of the most popular snare heads across the globe.
This is a coated head of medium thickness, which means it’s not too light to sustain heavy playing, yet not too thick to over-dampen your drums’ natural resonance.
These pieces are made for those who need more dryness in their snare sound. You only do one tuning, you are good to go.
Best Bass Head for Rock
The Evans EMAD2 is the most powerful rock bass drum head. It comes with two-ply for long life and features two options for dampening rings.
You can set the rings in the surrounding sleeve attached to the drum head, offering you different sound control levels. It has a wonderful attack and book that will make your listeners smile.
Best to tom head for Rock
For the tom, I would recommend the Remo Coated Ambassadors. These products have been for long of the favorites among many drummers. They produce a defined sound with an extensive range of tuning.
They are applicable to a wide range of drumming styles. If you want uncoated options, you can try Ambassador Clear and Pinstripe Clear.
They are both useful in terms of control.
Do drum heads make a difference?
Yes, there is so much difference I the way drum heads sound. It would be best if you experimented with different options before settling on your most preferred choice.
The differences come in construction material and brand standards. For instance, two-ply drum heads from Remo may sound slightly different from Evans.’
It just depends on what you expect to get from your drums. Sometimes the difference is just in the drumming style too.
What is the best drum set for rock music?
There are many drums on the market. But they may not all be good for certain music genres, like rock. This is why it gets a bit overwhelming for beginners.
For rock, Tama and Ludwig are among the most played. However, almost every major manufacturer makes sets that can be used for rock.
I have been playing Yamaha, and they are really good. Just consider the size of your drums, the shell material, and the had choice. The brand does not matter very much.
Also, consider your setup. A proper would include a 22-inch bass drum, 5.5 by 4 snare, and at least a 12-inch rack tom and 16-inch floor tom.
Drumming is much more fun if you know your gear. And for rock, choosing the right drum head will make all the difference. I hope the best drum heads for rock reviewed above make it easy for you.