Snare drum

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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 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 Brazilian caixa commonly has snares on the top of the upper drumhead. The snare drum is considered one of the most important drums of the drum kit.

Today in popular music, especially with rock drum kits, the snare drum is typically used to play a backbeat pattern[1] such as quarter notes on the backbeat or:


Contents

Operation

The drum can be played by striking it with a drum stick 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 sound reminiscent of a tom-tom.[2] 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.[3].

In contemporary Pop and Rock music, where the snare drum is used as a component of a drum set, most of the backbeats and accented notes on the snare drum are played as Rim shots, due to the ever increasing demand for the typical sharp and high volume sound. The so called "ghost notes" are very light "filler notes" played in between the backbeats in genres like Funk and Rhythm and Blues. The famous drum roll is produced by alternatively pressing the sticks on the drum head striving for a controlled rebound. A similar effect can be obtained by playing alternated double strokes on the drum, creating a double stroke roll, or very fast single strokes, creating a single stroke roll. The snares are a fundamental ingredient to the drum roll as they help blend together distinct strokes that are therefore perceived as a single sustained sound.

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