No musician would ever tell you that a snare drum is not essential to music. It is quite the contrary. The sound of snare drum has a big impact to the overall musicality of almost any kind of pop record, such as hip-hop, country, R&B, punk rock, speed metal, and jazz. This is the reason you usually see at least a couple of snare drums in a recording studio.
For someone who’s not yet familiar of the market for snare drums, it may seem too overwhelming to even begin narrowing down his choices. There are just too many drums available, and the mistake you would want to avoid is to get the one that isn’t worth the value for your money. Fortunately, there are known names that have never gone out of style and are trusted by many drummers. Here are a few of them.
Best Snare Drum for the Money
Gretsch Mark Schulman Signature model snare drum is a product of a challenge from Mark Schulman for Gretsch to create a snare that can cut through dense live performance mixes and still retain its versatility.” The finish alone has a lot to say about the quality of this drum. It has a light natural maple and an inlay of two strips of much darker Bubinga. Its built is something even the advanced drummer would swoon over, with its exceptional chrome plating, perfectly sculpted one-piece tailplane-style lug boxes and die-cast hoops.
While most snare drums sound odd when they’re just freshly coming from the factory, the Gretsch Mark Schulman Signature is different. It is, in fact, fairly evenly-pitched. Though, it is a little slacker than a true drummer would prefer it to be. The little imperfections on sound can be well adjusted as you continue to play with it. You crank it up a bit, and it will be transformed into a beautiful rich woody beat. It may also have rattled at the beginning, but as you go on, [the rattle] will be completely gone and replaced by a fat, chunky snare sound. It is the perfect main snare for reggae or ska music and can also be the second snare if you’re playing pop or rock music.
Best High-End Snare Drum
Another drum we have on the list is the massive, drool-inducing Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum. There are actually two amazing drums from Ludwig’s Signature line, in which the other one is the Supraphonic. The standard Supraphonic is the basic sound of many classic records, while the Black Beauty’s is of rock with that heavier and more modern variety. The Black Beauty is made of brass rather than aluminium, and this has affected its sound in a good way. Brass delivers a different resonant, and a bit more low-end punch and power that’s perfect for heavy rock. This is perhaps the reason that the sound of Black Beauty has become familiar and iconic. It is bold, brash, loud, and powerful without losing a wide sweet spot on the head. It is no wonder it is among the most recorded and most famous snare drums in existence today.
Additionally, you are rest assured of its quality because it is made from the country — in Monroe, North Carolina. If you’re on the fence between this beauty and another, do yourself a favour and get this one even if it means you would have to save up money for a while. If you’re into rock music, it will all be worth it. The durability is unbelievable that some users say they can last more than three decades! Now, that is something you can hold on to with your money.
Best Maple Shell Snare Drum
If you aren’t ready to splurge on Black Beauties signature snare drum, you can always have the Pacific Drums Blackout Snare. It’s a drum with sonic potential and real character on a price tag that even beginners can afford. It is built in all-maple shells finished in gloss black with black hardware, giving that very edgy black-on-black styling. Right out of the factory box, it can sound a little sticky, but once you’ve tuned it, the sound is rewarding. It is crisp and firm with just the right amount of sensitivity as well. With just a light touch of the stick, you can already hear the sizzling snare. Although the maple construction isn’t really of premium-quality when it comes to tone and durability, the PDP Blackout came out just fine.
Best Snare Drum Under $100
If you’re still a beginner and don’t want to shell out big money for a snare drum, then the Pearl M-80 is a perfect fit. It is constructed from poplar wood in a 10 x 4 size, giving it an explosive sound projection. Just tighten the skins and turn snare up all the way, and you will discover how incredible it can sound even at its price point. It emits a tight sound that is almost similar to a piccolo, which is an ideal addition to any drum kit, may it be for acoustic or for one you’d play in church.