What difference does snare drum depth make?


Nothing technical, just my observations: Deeper snares feel a bit 'slower' and more spongy under the stick even at higher tunings. Shallow snares respond much faster but don't have as much body. I personally find the smaller the drum diameter the deeper I like. 12x5 is probably my favorite all around fits into any playing situation I find myself in size. I recently have been playing a 10x5.5 with great success and just got a 13x6 that feels very different after years of small drums but I'm liking it. I typically like my 13 and 14s to be 3-4" depth and no more.

Huw Owens

Active Member
Shorter drum depths produce more fundamental pitch while deeper depths produce more harmonics. Also shorter depths result in longer sustain. If you picture the sound wave moving from the batter head to the reso head, the deeper the drum the longer that distance is. The longer that distance is the more energy that will be lost while traveling through the air, so less energy hitting the reso head.

Interesting comments, & thank you for your thought.

Pretty much all of the other posts suggest that it is the deeper drum that sustains more, though. Now I have to scratch my head....

  • Like
Reactions: jda


Gold Member
you're saying the shorter depth "hits" it's (resonant) mark sooner; but yea the deeper does seem to (sustain) go on and on longer...


resonance and sustain contour combine combination probably the global general consensus Goldilock's dance depth.
Last edited:


Platinum Member
I'm with the men and women who say the deeper drum has more overtones and has a slower response, but it's my belief that the snare bed has more effect on the length of sustain. Snare wires seem to affect the level of overtones and even the length of note on a shallower snare more than on a deeper one.

Yamaha Rider

Gold Member
I’ve had 4” to 8” deep snares and the most obvious difference is the length of the note. Deeper drums have a longer note. If you were to tune a 4” the same as an 8”, the pitch would sound the same, but the shallower drum will have a more curt note.

Regarding low pitched snare drums, I had a 15x8 and 15x4 side by side and tuned them for a fat thud. I preferred the sound from the 4” depth.
'Fat Thud': that's going on my band name list. 👍