How to Prevent Your Drums From Slipping Out of Tune

In Drum Building 101, Drum Building Resources, Drum Building Tutorials, Drummer resources, Drums, General Updates by Philip10 Comments

Tension Rod Slip

Do you have problems with your tension rods detuning themselves as you play a gig? I know that I dealt with this for a very long time myself. I would sometimes find myself trying to tune my snare drum back up after a couple of songs because usually the lug nearest to where I hit my rim shots ends up detuning and dropping the drum’s overall pitch.

lug detuning

This just made me frustrated…until I found out about  Loctite Thread Locker Blue.

loctite thread locker blue

Drum De-Tuning Solutions

Loctite has been great for me for the last couple of years that I’ve used it on my kits. I apply just a small amount to each tension rod on all of my drums. You have to be careful because this stuff can get messy.

loctite tension rod

I have also started to put it on all of my hardware screws and lugs screws that attach the hardware and lugs to the shell.  One mistake you definitely don’t want to make though is getting the permanent Loctite thread locker. There are multiple versions of thread locker, be sure to get THREAD LOCKER BLUE REMOVABLE.

There are also some other options to help keep your drums in tune that won’t be as messy as this solution.

Tight Screw

tightscrew ad

This is another solution. They have a milled channel with a nylon insert that stops drum detuning and is 100% guaranteed to work.

Lug Lock

There is also a product called Lug Lock that is extremely simple, but very effective.luglock locking tension rod I first saw this product at a music festival I was playing at where the drummer for Switchfoot had these on his snare drum.  This plastic square cap is simply pressed on to of the tension rod and holds the rod in place. I haven’t actually used these, but they seem like something I could see myself using in the future.

When it comes down to keeping your drums from detuning, all of these methods are great, and it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your drumming needs.

Do you have any drumming or drum building related questions? Leave me a comment and see if I can help you out!

This plastic cap is simply thumb pressed onto a square head tension rod.

Questions? Comments? Please leave a comment below to start a conversation!



  1. I’ve used Lug Locks in the past and they work really well. You just have to be sure that once you press them down, you leave them alone. The part that presses onto the top of the tension rod is a really soft plastic so if you mess with it alot or don’t put it on correctly, the plastic will wear out and it’ll become pretty useless. Other than that though, they work wonders. In fact, i’m not sure why I don’t still use them!? I think I need to take a quick trip to the music store.

  2. Ryan, Thanks for that great tip! Do you know how much they are from the music store or how many pieces you get in a pack?

  3. They come in a ten pack. I did buy a bag that only had 9 but I think it was a packing mistake. They’re not pricey so I’d buy atleast 2 to 3 bags at a time.

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  5. Hi Philip!! Thank you so much for sharing; I’m going to record in a couple of weeks and have been having some serious trouble with my drums de-tuning, so I can’t wait to try this. I do want to ask however if the threadlocker would work with lugs that have previously been oiled a good amount? Of course I will wipe off the tension rods, but I know that there will be residual oil in the lugs.

  6. Jesse,
    You got the right idea, just wipe off any oil, apply a small amount of Thread Locker Blue, and screw in to desired tension and let set. I actually have only had to reapply thread locker once since I wrote this post (5 years!) so it works really well! Good luck!

  7. How often do you have to tune your drums after applying the blue Loctite?

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