What Is A Drum Key Used For?

Drum key what is it used for

A drum key is an essential tool for any drummer.

That’s because without this gadget, you’ll have a hard time playing the drums properly.

But what is a drum key actually used for?

Let’s find out in this short drumming guide!

Yes, Drums Can Be Tuned

“Really, drums can be tuned?!”

That’s a question I’ve answered a lot over the years.

Yes, drums can be tuned.

Unless you lack a drum key.

That’s the biggest reason to have at least one stored right next to your kit:

Without a drum key, you can’t tune your drum set properly.

However, this key is not only used for creating an appealing sound.

You also need it to adjust the tension of your drum heads.

If the lugs are overly lose, the rebound of your drums is weak.

In consequence, you’ll might

  • have issues with your drum sound,
  • struggle with playing rudiments like doubles
  • and fail to use the finger technique properly.

That’s why tuning your drum skins the right way is crucial knowledge for any drummer.

Not So Obvious Reasons Why You Need A Drum Key

A drum key is used for tuning your drum heads.

However, you also need it for adjusting

  • the tension of your kick pedal,
  • its drum beater or
  • various parts of your double bass pedal.

Without a drum key, you’ll simply have a hard time doing so.

That’s why this small drumming accessory is a must-have.

There is no doubt about that.

For this reason, most drummers own several keys.

Me included. 🙂

But maybe you’re wondering:

Are there alternatives to drum keys available?

Well …

No, I don’t think so.

At least I’ve never seen an appropriate alternative for drum keys up until now.

Sure, there might be some tools out there to help you adjust the lugs.

Maybe pliers or a socket wrench.

But they are

  • way harder to use as a simple drum key,
  • could damage your instrument or
  • can hurt you when used wrong.

Personally, I don’t know a single way to tune a drum set properly without drum keys.

That’s why I highly recommend investing in this piece of drumming equipment before you need it.


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Author: Manu Holmer

Hi, I'm Manu Holmer, nice to meet you! As a professional drummer and drum teacher, my vision is to help others transform their lives with the power of music. Let's not only play the drums. Feel the rhythm & and walk to our own beats!

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