Fashionable Physics

If one of my good friends were to describe me, I don't believe "in-style" would be the first word they would use. For that matter, any word having to do with a sense of fashion would not be an immediate description either. I ask, "do they fit?" and if so, I buy them and keep them for the better part of a decade before realizing I look more like Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

So then why am I talking about clothes?

The gents and I (Ms. Laura Rose being out of town) had the most excellent opportunity to raid Buffalo Exchange on Saturday in search of a common-ground band wardrobe. I believe in results and I'm happy to report that we found a look. Think a healthy of mix of Aerosmith, meets Jonny Lang, meets a Civil War Captain. Can you see it? Yeah neither can I. Which is why y'all will have to come out and see for yourselves. 

Enough about clothes, who wants a simple lesson in sonic physics?

We all know that notes or tones that we hear everyday are formed from frequencies of sound waves that travel with different wave lengths to create different pitches. But did you know you can tune an entire drum kit applying this same principle?

When you think of your favorite Rush song (literally any of them), Neil fluidly rolls down the kit starting with the snare drum and ending with the bass drum, hitting trillions of drums in between. A natural thing to do because the ears can easily follow a pattern of high pitch down to low pitch, or vise versa. So, we want our snare pitched high and bass low.

Knowing the diameters of your drums, math will tell you the wavelength across the top of the drum head, giving you a good idea of the pitch you should aim for on each drum. I like a good crack in my snare sound so I crank the bottom head to 400Hz which is a solid G. Then the top head to about 315Hz to give a lower D#. When the drum is hit, the two heads vibrate at different speeds creating a dissonance of a perfect fourth. This resulting drum note is a nice G#. The same can be applied to all drums down the kit to even create full scales or chords if desired! Who said drummers can't be musical?

Tank out.