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

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Keep a camera on the thing.

I just can’t imagine how this could happen, there should be enough friction to prevent movement. Or there’s some kind of hardware issue that is reducing tension on a strike, and the head creeps slightly with each it. Or the head is defective and not responding as excepted.

Or you have a haunted bass drum, IDK.
Or returning air pressure tries to escape through the bearing edge/head connection.

Is the reso ported? If not, try taking it off for a while and see if the problem persists.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
A beater patch shaped like a donut (with a hole in the center) would work,
if the diameter was where the beater hits as the head does its rotation routine.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
This happened on a stage custom kit I used for band rehearsals. I think I might have solved the issue or lessened the issue by tuning it up a bit higher but I will never know the real reason why, I was using a ps3 and I’m pretty sure one of those heavy orange pearl wooden beaters with the elastic core.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
So I went to my studio last night to play a little and then deal with this mysterious rotating head. Since a lot of equipment-related questions kept coming up in this thread, I decided to document much of the process.

For the record, my beater shafts are not bent and not at an angle, and the beater heads are aligned flush with the drum head.

1664471027726.jpeg1664471048682.jpeg

Before I took the head off, I checked the tension on every rod. 2 of them had less tension than I was expecting, but all of them were under tension. No loosey-gooseys. Then when I took the head off, the bearing edge was perfectly clean. But of course, I wiped it down anyway.
(this pic is from before I wiped it down)
1664471452750.jpeg

The underside of the head was perfectly clean as well, with no dents or caving in, so it's still in good shape.
(sorry about the blurriness)
1664471572758.jpeg

You can see the rubber inserts under each claw, which helps it really grip the hoop. I also wiped down all of these inserts.
(this pic is before wiping them down)
1664471682316.jpeg

Finally, since the inner edge of the hoop (the part that goes against the head) is unfinished, it's super easy to tell the correct way to install it.
1664471791971.jpeg1664471813474.jpeg

So after taking everything apart, it all seemed 100% normal. Nothing stood out as to what could be causing the head to rotate. So when I put it all back together, I tuned it up a little higher than before just to give it a little extra tension. We'll see if this helps.

Unfortunately, I prefer the slightly lower tuning from before. If after a few weeks I don't notice any rotation, I may tune it back down and see what happens.
 
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TK-421

Senior Member
Or returning air pressure tries to escape through the bearing edge/head connection.

Is the reso ported? If not, try taking it off for a while and see if the problem persists.
Yup, the reso head is ported. Interesting theory though.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Next time you re-center the head, maybe make a Sharpie mark on the metal hoop part of the head, right on top or at "12 o'clock". I am assuming it's not just the mylar film that's rotating, but this way you can be sure that it's the whole head and not just the film. If it was just the film, I would assume the head would be wonky on it's own.

Also, maybe try a spare head you might have lying around and tune it the same and see if it rotates too?
I thought of that a while back. I didn't have a sharpie with me last night, but I may take one in with me next time I go into the studio.


Is It Really A Problem? 😁

But let me think. It can't be the beater because it doesn't beat sideways. I'm sure the hoop rotates because the pedal rotates versus the drum. Or, more probably, the other way around -- the pedal will remain flat on the ground because you put your foot on it all the time. So you have to stop the base drum from rotating. That's what the spurs are for. Are your spurs OK and is the drum off the ground on the front side?
The spurs are great and my bass drum is set up to where it's mostly parallel to the floor with just a very slight upward tilt on the reso side.


Or there’s some kind of hardware issue that is reducing tension on a strike, and the head creeps slightly with each it.
That's probably it, though for the life of me I can't figure out what the hardware issue is. Even after going through everything with a fine-tooth comb last night, everything seemed perfectly in order.
 
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moxman

Silver Member
Sounds haunted to me..

I have found some manufacturer size descrepencies with heads.. I always thought there was a standard.. but I ran into an Aquarian head once that wouldn't fit the shell.. put it down to a manufacturer defect and found another head.
 

calan

Silver Member
I want to take it on good faith that you have this thing adequately tensioned, because I really have no reason to believe otherwise other than that THIS IS HAPPENING.

I would just throw a different head on the thing. In the absence of a reasonable explanation otherwise, the problem points to the head. The reason why is hardly relevant, because there's likely nothing to be done for it. Just because the head looks to be in perfect condition doesn't mean that it is.

Tune it where you like it. Play it. See what happens. If it happens again, add a quarter turn. Repeat.

I'd really love to see time lapse footage of this issue in action. It's exactly the right amount of trivial and confounding for me.

Rereading your inspection:

What about your lug inserts? Is there any play in there that you could envision being a contributing factor?
 
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TK-421

Senior Member
That's an annoying problem! Maybe try a paper glue stick in a few spots on the bearing edge?
That's not a bad idea. Since I just recentered it, I'm leaving everything alone for now. But if it starts rotating again, I'll definitely try that.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Okay I've got it. You need:

3 parts eye of newt
1 part wool of bat
1 part toe of frog
Blood of a virgin

Mix newt, bat, and frog in cauldron until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until newt eyes rupture. Remove from heat and strain.

Take remaining paste and marinate in virgins blood for 3 hours. Remove from blood bath and smear all over kick drum.

It will keep in the fridge for about a week before losing potency.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I know it's not a solution to the mystery, but if it keeps rotating at the tension you prefer, you could duct tape the heads's hoop to the BD hoop on the underside (3-4 inches, horizontally around the hoops) where it'd be unseen, just to keep it from rotating.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Okay I've got it. You need:

3 parts eye of newt
1 part wool of bat
1 part toe of frog
Blood of a virgin

Mix newt, bat, and frog in cauldron until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until newt eyes rupture. Remove from heat and strain.

Take remaining paste and marinate in virgins blood for 3 hours. Remove from blood bath and smear all over kick drum.

It will keep in the fridge for about a week before losing potency.

I know it's not a solution to the mystery, but if it keeps rotating at the tension you prefer, you could duct tape the heads's hoop to the BD hoop on the underside (3-4 inches, horizontally around the hoops) where it'd be unseen, just to keep it from rotating.
Sure, but only if Dave's idea doesn't work out.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I want to take it on good faith that you have this thing adequately tensioned, because I really have no reason to believe otherwise other than that THIS IS HAPPENING.

I would just throw a different head on the thing. In the absence of a reasonable explanation otherwise, the problem points to the head. The reason why is hardly relevant, because there's likely nothing to be done for it. Just because the head looks to be in perfect condition doesn't mean that it is.

Tune it where you like it. Play it. See what happens. If it happens again, add a quarter turn. Repeat.

I'd really love to see time lapse footage of this issue in action. It's exactly the right amount of trivial and confounding for me.

Rereading your inspection:

What about your lug inserts? Is there any play in there that you could envision being a contributing factor?
I agree, the head shouldn't be rotating. But it is. Or, at least it was. But hopefully not any longer.

I did have it adequately tensioned the two previous times, without any loose tension rods. And I tend to tune my bass drum batter just a little higher than JAW, so there definitely should have been enough tension to keep it in place.

As of the other night, I've tensioned it slightly higher than I had it before, so I'm hoping that fixes the issue. But as I've already mentioned, I don't like the higher tuning quite as much as before. So if it all goes well, I'll likely tune it back down and see what happens.

Or I'll just move onto Plan B, which is Dave's idea.

Okay I've got it. You need:

3 parts eye of newt
1 part wool of bat
1 part toe of frog
Blood of a virgin

Mix newt, bat, and frog in cauldron until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until newt eyes rupture. Remove from heat and strain.

Take remaining paste and marinate in virgins blood for 3 hours. Remove from blood bath and smear all over kick drum.

It will keep in the fridge for about a week before losing potency.
 

I-P

Active Member
Have you given any thought to the head is actually straight and everything else is rotating?
Eric Wareheim Mind Blown GIF by Tim and Eric
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'd be curious to know if the head alone is rotating, or if the head and hoop are rotating together. I don't know why it would have just started, but I can easily picture the claws exerting rotational force on the hoop, and the hoop spinning the head.

Like I say, though, I don't know why it would have just started.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I want to take it on good faith that you have this thing adequately tensioned, because I really have no reason to believe otherwise other than that THIS IS HAPPENING.

I would just throw a different head on the thing. In the absence of a reasonable explanation otherwise, the problem points to the head. The reason why is hardly relevant, because there's likely nothing to be done for it. Just because the head looks to be in perfect condition doesn't mean that it is.
Yeah I'm with this guy. Since it was a ps3 that did it for me I tend to think it might be the drum head itself, maybe the extra inner ring is extra slippery or something.

Just play it, let it rotate, you're using felt beaters anyway. If it still gets destroyed it probably deserves it anyway.

FWIW those falam slam patches aren't the best anyway, they seem to take away the attack. I use the clear Evans patches, much lighter and I've never burned through one, at least not using my felt beaters.
 
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