A snare drum is the great, great, great, great, great, Grandson of the sister of Auntie Maud’s tabor. In short, the snare drum started life as a tabor which was a drum used to play alongside a flute. Things have come a long way since then and the snare drum is now an incredibly versatile piece of kit in a number of different musical environments. Whether you play percussion in an orchestra, play in your high school marching band, Highland Scottish pipe band, or rock out to Meatloaf with your rock band, the snare drum plays a vital role.
A snare drum consists of a shell usually made of wood or metal, however, these days you can often find fiberglass and even stone composite shells! There is a top drum head and bottom drum head and these tend to be made of plastic. The top head or batter head is thicker and this is the head that is struck. The bottom head or resonant head is typically quite a bit thinner. Attached to the bottom of the drum are snare wires and as the top head gets struck, this vibrates the bottom head which in turn sounds the snare wires. There are numerous tension rods that lie around the side of the drum and the rods allow the drum to be tuned to the player’s preference. The snare wires are held in place by a snare strainer which can also be tightened and loosened to reach the desired sound.