Something weird is going on with my bass drum batter head.

TK-421

Senior Member
It keeps rotating clockwise, and I have no idea why. I've had this head on my bass drum for almost 2 years now, and until a few months ago it didn't move. Then all of a sudden I noticed the Remo crown logo was creeping over toward the top right lug, so I pulled out my kick, loosened all the tension rods (none had come loose, BTW), recentered the head and tuned it back up. That was about 6 weeks ago. Now as you can see, it's clearly rotating clockwise again.

I really have no idea why. My pedal is on perfectly straight, so the beaters hit the head at a perfect 90° angle. And all the tuning rods have tension, so it's not like the head is sitting on the drum loosely. It's really not that big of a deal, except my beater patches are rotating along with the head and are slowly going out of alignment with my beaters.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas what might be causing it?

1664388955726.jpeg
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Is there much trash or dust between the edge and the head? You could always clean it or dust your edge and head and see if that works.
 
Is there much trash or dust between the edge and the head? You could always clean it or dust your edge and head and see if that works.

I’ll preface this by saying I don’t really know , but I think you’re on the right track sort of . The answer ( I’m guessing ) is time .

Time ( the heads been on or in use for 2 years) dries everything out eventually . The head material and the wood bearing edge. This makes things slick and slippery or like hard and dried out . The suppleness of that head could be gone and against dried out wood could cause it I would guess 🤔🤷🏻‍♂️

There was a discussion on here that talked about stick slip and grip. I have dry hands and use an unfinished stick . This resulted in sticks slipping forward . I use a moisturizer now for that problem and to keep my hands less prone to cracking . Too much is not good and stick will slip and none equals stick slippage or creep . The right ( small ) amount causes , for lack of a bettter term and just because I like it lol …… Gription 😂

So I’d say first clean your edges as @PorkPieGuy alluded to and seated area of head and then re install . And if the drum is in round and no other issues or damage…… If you still have the rotation . Maybe a wood oil or as others have used, a wax for wood or surfboard wax to condition bearing edge . Obviously don’t over do it .

Otherwise a head change maybe .
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Is there much trash or dust between the edge and the head? You could always clean it or dust your edge and head and see if that works.
I always wipe off my bearing edges when changing heads, so as of two years ago they were clean. But I don't think I removed the head when I recentered it 6 weeks ago, so I'll do that next time.
 

jda

Silver Member
the only thing that could be pushing it is the offset beater? i dunno.
Would have been good April 1 topic tho : )

do you have some uneven tension somewhere I'd put a Drum Dial on it
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I’ll preface this by saying I don’t really know , but I think you’re on the right track sort of . The answer ( I’m guessing ) is time .

Time ( the heads been on or in use for 2 years) dries everything out eventually . The head material and the wood bearing edge. This makes things slick and slippery or like hard and dried out . The suppleness of that head could be gone and against dried out wood could cause it I would guess 🤔🤷🏻‍♂️

There was a discussion on here that talked about stick slip and grip. I have dry hands and use an unfinished stick . This resulted in sticks slipping forward . I use a moisturizer now for that problem and to keep my hands less prone to cracking . Too much is not good and stick will slip and none equals stick slippage or creep . The right ( small ) amount causes , for lack of a bettter term and just because I like it lol …… Gription 😂

So I’d say first clean your edges as @PorkPieGuy alluded to and seated area of head and then re install . And if the drum is in round and no other issues or damage…… If you still have the rotation . Maybe a wood oil or as others have used, a wax for wood or surfboard wax to condition bearing edge . Obviously don’t over do it .

Otherwise a head change maybe .
The head itself seems to be fine, and it seats cleanly so the drum doesn't seem to be out of round. But I will definitely check and clean the bearing edges (if necessary) next time I recenter the head. I've never waxed my edges, but that makes me think it would make them more slippery rather than less.
 
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Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Staff member
beginning gillian anderson GIF by The X-Files
 

TK-421

Senior Member
the only thing that could be pushing it is the offset beater? i dunno.
Would have been good April 1 topic tho : )

do you have some uneven tension somewhere I'd put a Drum Dial on it
I've been playing a double pedal for decades, so I don't think it's the offset beater since it only now has begun rotating. Also, I don't own a drum dial, but I just tuned up that head about 6 weeks ago. It should absolutely still have tension on all the rods. Plus when I recentered it a while back, every rod had tension... none of them had loosened. Yet it still rotated.

The mystery deepens.
 

jda

Silver Member
is the head too big (that'd be odd..) for the shell?
How's the resistance minus hoop rods etc
 

TK-421

Senior Member
is the head too big (that'd be odd..) for the shell?
How's the resistance minus hoop rods etc
Nope. I don't even know how I'd get a larger batter head on there. It's a 20" kick with a 20" head. Other than the rotation, everything seems perfectly normal.

Did the film pull out of the hoop maybe?

Time for a new head?
No, the head is in perfect condition. I usually only change bass drum batters every 5-6 years, so at 2 years old there's still tons of life left in this one. And I keep it tuned above JAW (kind of medium-low), so there's plenty of tension on the head and hoop.
 

ToneT

Silver Member
It keeps rotating clockwise, and I have no idea why. I've had this head on my bass drum for almost 2 years now, and until a few months ago it didn't move. Then all of a sudden I noticed the Remo crown logo was creeping over toward the top right lug, so I pulled out my kick, loosened all the tension rods (none had come loose, BTW), recentered the head and tuned it back up. That was about 6 weeks ago. Now as you can see, it's clearly rotating clockwise again.

I really have no idea why. My pedal is on perfectly straight, so the beaters hit the head at a perfect 90° angle. And all the tuning rods have tension, so it's not like the head is sitting on the drum loosely. It's really not that big of a deal, except my beater patches are rotating along with the head and are slowly going out of alignment with my beaters.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas what might be causing it?

View attachment 124823
Better call Ghostbusters!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
Is the shell parallel to the floor or pitched up on the reso side? I'm thinking the beater hitting the batter is the driving force behind the rotation. Is your shell plies OK where the batter head touches? Is your beater shaft bent? Is the wood BD hoop OK?
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Is the shell parallel to the floor or pitched up on the reso side? I'm thinking the beater hitting the batter is the driving force behind the rotation. Is your shell plies OK where the batter head touches? Is your beater shaft bent? Is the wood BD hoop OK?
I keep all of my bass drums set up to where the shell is mostly parallel to the floor, with about a 1-2 cm upward tilt from the batter to the reso side (so it just ever so slightly points up).

The kit is 11 years old, but I bought it new and it's been in my studio for pretty much its entire life. So it's in pristine condition. The pedal is also in perfect condition. In fact, this has occurred with two of my double pedals, as I switched over to my gigging pedals a few weeks ago (which is essentially brand new), and the rotation has occurred with both of them. The beater shafts are all straight, the felt heads aren't excessively worn, etc.

I keep all my equipment in tip-top shape, so it shouldn't have anything to do with that. Which makes it all the more perplexing.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Man I'm out of ideas now. It's bizzare. I never heard of this
Me neither! That's why I posted it here. It's really perplexing! Especially since it was perfectly straight until a few months ago, when all of a sudden it started rotating. And then rotated again after I straightened it!

The only thing I can think of is MAYBE there's some dust or something caught between the head and bearing edge that's causing it to slip. Though even that doesn't seem likely. But who knows? This weekend, I'll go in there, take the head all the way off and inspect EVERYTHING before straightening it this time.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
No, no and no. But that's a good thought on that 3rd one you mentioned. However I'm positive it's on correctly.
My only other thought is the rods are loose enough and you are hitting hard enough that the impact is causing enough space between head and shell to rotate.

Can you grab the head by the metal hoop and turn it manually?
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Wowsers TK I’m not sure.

After reading back and forths in thread, I’d hone in on the rods.
Have you removed them to inspect any threads that look suspect, maybe the claws have plastic protectors that are loose.

Maybe retighten a hair more than you usually and see which rods come slipping out after each session.

Other than that, maybe hoops, do Gretsch hoops have a fastener side to go against the head?
All the claws are lined with rubber inserts, which really grip the hoop tightly. And as far as I can tell, all the threads on the rods are fine. I bought the kit new and have never gigged with it, as it's been in my studio this entire time. It's in pristine shape, and everything works like new.

Maybe I'll try tightening the batter head a little more than usual, and see if that fixes it.

My only other thought is the rods are loose enough and you are hitting hard enough that the impact is causing enough space between head and shell to rotate.

Can you grab the head by the metal hoop and turn it manually?
I don't think so. I don't tune it to JAW, it's a little tighter than that. And I always tap all around the head to ensure even tuning all the way around (I do that will all of my drums). But I'll try tuning it slightly tighter once I recenter it.

I am a heavy hitter though, but I've always been that way. If that were the cause, I think my bass drum batters would have been rotating for decades now.
 
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