Snares to suit your style 

Posted: 7 July 2020 

Updated: 22 September 2022

Snare drums come in all different shapes and sizes, each with its own sonic properties. With a quick change of snare, you can cater your kit to perfectly match the music you’re playing. We wanted to help you to mix up your snare sounds and share what snare is best for each situation. 

Read time: 3 mins

The Basics

The snare is the centrepiece of your kit. It provides a pulse and tempo to your playing, as well as being used for accents.  A snare drum is typically about 14” in diameter and features one head on top and one on the bottom. The snares itself are metal wires that are most commonly attached to the bottom heads.

The snares can be tightened to give a bright, snaping sound when the drum is struck, or loosened to have a deeper, thicker sound. Most snare drums feature a snare mount allowing for the snares to be loosened so that they don’t actually come into contact with the bottom head, and so instead the drum sounds a high-pitched tom. The benefit of a snare mount is that a drummer can switch between sounds in the middle of performing.

Where do snare drums come from?

The medieval Tabor drum is probably the oldest ancestor of the snare, before the Field Drum became common, which was used by militaries across Europe and later, the Americas. Both featured ‘snares’, which were originally catgut before later becoming coiled metal wires, that give the drum a snap sound when played. Since then snare drums have been designed for concert percussionists and modern drum kits, with tuning lugs and snare mounts being added to allow the player to make changes in pitch and tone.


The body of a snare drum is typically made from a range of woods or metals, although there are some other materials used such as acrylic and carbon fibre. We’ve created this handy table to showcase the benefits of each material.