Jon Cohan is a Boston-based studio drum tech (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dropkick Murphys, Fall Out Boy), drummer, author (Zildjian: A History of the Legendary Cymbal Makers, Star Sets: Drum Kits of the Great Drummers, The Drummer’s Almanac), magazine writer (DRUM!, Traps, Rhythm), drum consultant, and recovering custom drum maker. You can check out Jon’s drum tech blog at www.allthingsloud.blogspot.com
“I ALWAYS use nylon or metal snare drum cord instead of the Mylar strapping many companies provide. Good cord, such as the products made by Trick, Pure Sound, or Gibraltar , allow the snares much greater response and sensitivity than the straps. Also, be aware that over-tightening your snare wires against the snare-side head will also result in a loss of response. Seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many drummers make this mistake.”
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Depending on the snare the metal snare cord can actually cut through the snare side drum head. I had this problem with a DW Edge Snare. I used a trick steel snare cord, and I had switch back to a standard mylar strip to keep from ripping through the head.
@Cliff – I’ve never had the problem you describe. Is it possible you are tightening your snares too tight? One possible fix is to put a very small piece of electrical tape at the point where the cord meets the head.