I have a 1965 Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum and when I purchased some new Puresound Custom Pro 20 Strand Snare Wires I had issues. Buzzing, slippage and inconsistent tension were plaguing me.
After searching the net for how to tie the snare strainer side, I realized there was no good info out there!
I tried dozens of methods, followed by lots of testing, and came up with what seems to be the best method…
Before we start I’m going to assume you know to toss the throw-off and set the screw to about the 1/2 to 3/4 loose position. Basic snare wire changing 101. Got it? Good.
The first thing you need to be aware of is one of the mose common sources of buzzing: uneven snare tension.
Checkout the slight S-shape here:
What happens when you put tension on this is one side will become tight and the other side will be loose.
You will get that snare sound, with that left-over nasty rattling/buzzing. Hit a tom? BUZZ. Kick? BUZZ.
The Puresound Custom Pro 20 Strand Snare Wires that I purchased have a ribbon for the buttplate that I strongly recommend you use. If your snare wires do not have this, then find something. Getting even tension on the buttplate is rather difficult with string.
If you are unsure of what to get for a replacement ribbon, I suggest going to a local fabric/sewing store and buy the widest, yet thinnest, polyester material that will fit your snare wires. You want something that won’t distort much, so use your brain.
Another option for a replacement ribbon is to cut up a soda bottle. Rough up the edges that go in the buttplate by rubbing them with some sandpaper or scrubbing it outside on the concrete.
The knot itself is very simple. Use a Surgical Knot. DO NOT TIE THE GRANNY VERSION. Pay attention. PAY ATTENTION. First learn to tie a proper reef knot, then add a double twist under it.
Look at what a granny knot is. Look at what a square reef knot is. Look at what a granny knot is. Look at what a square reef knot is. Look at what a granny knot is. Look at what a square reef knot is. Look at what a granny knot is. Look at what a square reef knot is. Look at what a granny knot is. Look at what a square reef knot is. Look at what a granny knot is. Look at what a square reef knot is. Look at what a granny knot is. Look at what a square reef knot is.
Keep doing this until you can spot them in your peripheral vision, in the dark, 7 miles away, going 65mph down the highway.
DO NOT TIE THE GRANNY VERSION.
Now tie a Surgical Knot. Good job.
Threading the snare strainer is easy. Just follow what it looks like in the image. Using the outter holes you go…
Now here’s the most important part!!
You must center the snare wires. This got me for a while, but it’s really simple to do!
If you have snare wires where the tie-off goes under on the sides and over in the middle, like I do:
- Pull up a bunch of slack in the center.
- Slowly engage the throw-off
- Monitor the tension and move the wires as needed so they are centered at final tension.
If your snare wires are the style where the string goes over then under, then I’m sorry. You have to just fiddle with it. Buy some better snare wires if you have the $20.
That’s what it should look like when you are done. Even, clean, lightly tensioned and ready to play.
When I hit my toms, there’s no buzz. When I kick the kick, there’s no buzz. When I hit my snare it sounds beautiful, sharp, even and without any excessive rattle.
That’s it. Honestly, it’s quite easy once you’ve struggled with it for months.