Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Recommended Resources

Recommended Resources

GoodWork: Canada's largest community of environmental change-makers, sustainability-professionals, job-seekers and volunteers. It's a hub for all Canadians who want to work for a greener, healthier, more sustainable world.


Green Communities Canada: A national association of community organizations working with homeowners, businesses, governments, and communities for a sustainable future.


Canadian Network for Human Health and the Environment is hosted by the New Brunswick Lung Association. The Network is concerned with broad human health-related environmental issues relating to air, water, soil, food, climate change, and consumer products. Membership is free and open to non-governmental, research, and healthcare professionals, government policy-makers and individuals who are interested in the connections between human health and environmental exposures.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Drum Tuning - The Snare Drum; part 1

Drum Tuning - How To Tune Snare Drum

* This in-depth tutorial article written by Gregory A Hill was a little too long for our blog, therefore I've split it into a 2-part article. Watch for the 2nd portion of this to appear on Feb 3rd.

Ahh yes... the snare drum. The most heavily played drum throughout the kit. The snare drum is the center piece, and it can very easily define a drummers style. From a deep thud to a tight snap; maple, birch, bronze, steel, and everywhere in between; the overall sound of this instrument is as varied as ice cream flavours and can be just as sweet if tuned correctly.

This tutorial assumes you are putting new drum heads on your snare. If you're using older heads and want to follow the tutorial, just evenly loosen the tension rods on both sides of the drum and remove the rods, hoops, and heads to start anew. Ok - so first, let's start with the "do's and don'ts".


Find the head suited for your style of playing

Use fine increments when tuning up your drum head (1/4-1/2 turns)

Use John Good's "pistol fingers" method when tuning by ear (described in Fine Tuning)


Attempt to break in the head by applying pressure with your hands!!!

Avoid muffling the drum (find the head that will provide the sound you desire)

Don't tap at random (w/ fingers, stick, drum key, etc.) when listening for overtones

I prefer to begin with the resonant or bottom side of the drum. This lets us focus on the fundamental pitch of the drum first, so that's where we'll start.

The first step to tuning a snare, or any drum for that matter, is clearing the bearing-edge of debris. Most commonly they are dirt, grease, and wood chips from sticks.

Just use a clean cotton cloth (micro-fiber if you're fancy) and run around the edge of the drum. This provides a nice clean contact between drum head and bearing-edge.

The most important thing you can do to ensure that your snare tunes up correctly and will stay in tune, is properly seating the head. While this may sound like a "no-brainer", most drummers either overlook this step or just assume that by placing the head on the drum and rotating it a couple times, that they've seated the head correctly.

A properly seated drum head is one that is centered on the drum shell, and at an equal distance from the ring of the head to the bearing edge throughout the diameter of the drum. This allows the hoop of the drum to apply an even amount of downward pressure on all sides of the drum head and prevents over tensioning of a single side.

It sounds far more difficult than it is when put into words. Just place the drum head on the shell, secure the hoop atop the drum head, then, eye down over the drum and adjust its position until the distance between the hoops edge and the bearing edge are equal around the drum.

In most cases, the resonant head is clear and this can be accomplished visually. If your working with a coated head (like most snare batters), place your fingers on the underside of the hoop and feel for the distance between the hoops bottom edge and the drum shell. The idea is the same, just make sure the gap between the two is equal on opposite sides of the drum.

Begin Tensioning

After seating the head, thread in the tension rods until they are almost touching the hoop. At this point make sure that you haven't moved the head around while threading the tension rods, throwing off your seating. If the head has moved, just repeat the previous steps to ensure that the head is seated correctly and will receive even tension.

Now grab a set of tension rods on opposing sides of the drum with your fingers and begin tightening them until you feel they are snug on the hoop. This is commonly referred to as "finger tight". Don't overdo it though. From there, skip over one tension rod in a counter-clockwise fashion and grab the following set of tension rods bringing them to a finger tight position. Repeat this around the drum until all rods are finger tight.

When all rods are finger-tight, break out the drum key and pick a tension rod. I like to begin with the rod at the 12 o'clock position. Begin by turning the key 1/4 of a turn. Move to the tension rod on the opposite side of the drum (the 6 o'clock position in my case) and turn it 1/4 of a turn just as before. Again, in a counter-clockwise fashion, skip over a rod and land on the following one. Turn this tension rod 1/4 of a turn. From this rod, move across the drum to the opposing tension rod and turn it 1/4 of a turn. Are you sensing a pattern yet?

This is known as the star formation of tuning. It ensures that you evenly tension down the hoop in a consistent pattern. The pattern is dependent on the number of lugs the drum you're tuning has. Six and ten lug drums are the easiest. The only alteration when dealing with a ten lug drum is to skip over two rods instead of only one. For eight and (the rare) twelve lug drums it gets a little more complicated, but is the same practice.

* This article continues on February 3rd


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Monday, January 28, 2019

quote of the day

Quote of the Day

“Keep in mind, hurting people will often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. 

If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. 

They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. 

The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily.” 

~ Joel Osteen


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