The snare drum
is a drum
with strands of snares
made of curled metal wire, metal cable, plastic cable, or gut
cords stretched across the a drumhead, typically the bottom. Pipe and tabor
and some military
snare drums often have a second set of snares on the bottom (internal) side of the top (batter) head to make a "brighter" sound, and the Brazillian caixa
commonly has snares on the top of the upper drumhead. The snare drum is considered one of the most important (if not the
most important) drums of the drum kit
Today in popular music, especially rock, drum kits the snare drum is typically used to play a backbeat pattern such as quarter notes on the backbeat or the slightly more interesting:
The drum can be sounded by hitting it with a drumstick or any other form of beater, including brushes and rutes, which produce a softer-sounding vibration from the wires. When using a stick, the drummer may strike either the head of the drum, the rim, or the shell. When the top head is struck the snares vibrate against the bottom head producing a cracking sound. The snares can often be thrown off with a lever on the strainer so that the drum only produces a tom-tom sound. Rim shots are a technique associated with snare drums in which the head and rim are struck simultaneously with one stick (or in concert playing, a stick placed on the head and rim struck by the opposite stick), and rudiments are sets of basic patterns often played on a snare drum.
Snare drums may be made from various wood, metal, or acrylic materials. A typical diameter for snare drums is 14 inches. Marching snare drums are deeper in size than snare drums normally used for orchestral or drum kit purposes, often measuring in at a foot long. Orchestral and drum set snare drum shells are about 6 inches deep. Piccolo snare drums are even more shallow at about 3 inches deep. Soprano, popcorn, and firecracker snare drums have diameters as small as 8 inches and are often used for higher-pitched special effects.
Wood shell construction
Most snare drums are constructed in plies that are heat-
into a cylinder. Steam-bent shells consist of one ply of wood that is gradually rounded into a cylinder and glued at one seam. Reinforcement hoops are generally needed on the inside surface of the drum to keep it perfectly round. Segment shells are made of multiple stacks of segmented wood rings. The segments are glued together and rounded out by a lathe. Similarly, stave shells are constructed of vertically glued pieces of wood into a cylinder (much like a barrel) that is also rounded out by a lathe. Solid shells are constructed of one solid piece of hollowed wood.
Snare drum hardware