Many drummers have many snare drums, which is understandable. It’s the most important, core hub of any kit, the drum that is played and heard the most, and the one that may define your sound the most.
So, whether you’re looking for a new snare drum to add to your collection or that one unique drum to build your kit around, we’re here to help you find the greatest snare drum for your needs. After you’ve decided on a budget for your next snare drum, think about the sound you want and the styles you’ll be performing.
From wood and metal snare drums to acrylic shells, there are a variety of materials to choose from, each with its own tone and personality. The size of the drum has a significant impact on the sound of your snare.
Table of Contents
Gretsch Drums Full Range Series S1-6514-BRH 6.5×14″ Hammered Brass Snare Drum
- 6.5x14" Snare Drum
- 1.2mm Polished Hammered Brass shell with Bolt-on Silver Series round badge & Chrome hardware
- Throw-Off: Fully adjustable side pull with fixed butt plate
The appearance of this Gretsch snare drum will surely be the first thing that hits you. It’s absolutely stunning, and it’s quite likely the best-looking snare drum on our list. The Silver Series comes in a variety of colors and finishes, but the one we have is a quality hammered brass finish.
The principle is straightforward. Gretsch hopes that by employing brass, they can get a sound that is halfway between the warmth of a wood snare drum and the snap of a metal snare drum that cuts through the mix. It’s quite effective, and this is a snare with an unmistakably distinct sound. Also, the hammered finish isn’t just for show. This was done by the Gretsch sound specialists to really focus the sound into a good punch.
This snare drum is one of the more expensive on our list, but you get what you paid for. The die-cast hoops, as well as the rest of the chrome hardware, feel really durable. This is a premium-feeling snare drum that is well-suited to the touring scenario. This is the Best Snare Drum in 2023.
Ludwig LM402 Smooth Chrome Plated Aluminum
- Brand: Ludwig
- Product Code: LM402
- Performance proven to be the sound that fueled the most hit recordings in history
John Bonham, one of the most famous rock drummers of all time, used the Supraphonic as his favorite snare drum. You can surely utilize it with your rock band if Bonham used it with Zeppelin. It provides a cavernous tone that sounds massive in any setting. The snare is also incredibly adaptable, fitting into a wide range of musical styles. It’s one of the most recorded snare drums in history because of this.
Roger Taylor utilized his Black Beauty to lay down the driving force that was Queen at Live Aid, and it was played by some of the greats and heard throughout the world. Ginger Baker of Cream used one, and it’s been said that the guy himself used maple snare drum on Led Zeppelin 4’s “When the Levee Breaks.” That one is a bit of a gamble because he was known to avoid brass shells in favor of chrome or Ludalloy ludwig supraphonic.
If you tune the snare correctly, the overtones sound fantastic. They’re a refreshing change of pace from other snares that, no matter how perfectly tuned, have terrible overtones. To create a fantastic sound, you don’t need to muffle the snare at all. It’s made from a single sheet of brass that’s been machine spun into a single shape before being chrome coated. It also benefits from Ludwig’s P85 Supraphonic strainer. This snare is responsive and has a massive feel no matter how hard you hit it. The antique black finish completes the overall aesthetic.
Pearl S1330B 13 x 3 Inches Black Steel Piccolo Snare Drum
- Brand: Pearl
- Product Code: S1330B
- Compact and affordable with plenty of snap
Our list wouldn’t be complete without at least one of Pearl’s snare drum sets for rock and roll, and this will be an interesting addition to our top ten snares. The Black Steel Piccolo snare drum, which measures 13×3 inches, is the one we’ve picked here (but there will be another Pearl to come).
The sound is so sharp that many individuals who are used to traditional snares could be tempted to use one of these as their primary setup – it’s that addictive. It’s not quite like the resonant sound of a typical all-birch snare drum, but it’s in a nice manner. It’s easy to see why some drummers, such as Rush’s Neil Peart, favor them.
As you’d expect from a Pearl snare drum, the build quality is excellent, with everything feeling like it was handcrafted with high-grade hardware. This is a serious snare drum with a design that allows it to handle whatever is thrown at it, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. It’s also extremely reasonably priced. This is the Best Snare Drums in 2023.
Tama SLP Classic Dry Aluminium
- Configuration Snare Size: 14 x 5-1/2 in. Total Pieces: 1 Extras Case or Bag: Not Applicable Stand: Not Applicable Shells Shell Material: Aluminum...
Tama’s 13″ G-Maple snare drum sounds great right out of the box. Due to the natural gating effect of the die-cast hoop and smaller diameter, aiming for the sweet-spot center generates a dry woody crack, then hitting slightly off-centre gives only the tiniest overtone, which is promptly snapped shut. This drum works well with tight funk or any tune that calls for precise strikes, such as Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.”
The Tama S.L.P. Traditional Maple is a truly ‘classic’ sounding wooden snare drum that reacts to all tuning levels — it can rock it out or play some tasty jazz. Tama also provides birch, kapur, walnut, spruce, and a variety of metal-shelled alternatives in addition to the Classic Maple and G-Maple seen here. The brand has done an excellent job of limiting down the selection of snare drums, and you’re certain to discover at least one that suits your needs within their S.L.P. line. This is the Best Snare Drum for Beginners in 2023.
Mapex BPDLMH4650LPW Black Panther Design Lab Series 14″x6.5″ Wood Snare Drum
- Demo Black Panther SD - 14x6.5 - Peach Burl Burst
Sonic Saver hoops, Puresound Custom Series 16-strand wires, Black Panther cylinder-drive strainer and butt-end adjuster, and Remo heads are used in the Mapex Design Lab Heartbreaker and Cherry Bomb snare drums. The 45-degree SONIClear bearing edges and Mapex’s new minimalist Natural Satin SAS finish, meant to maximize shell resonance, are also shared by both snares.
The Heartbreaker is at home in a rock situation, blazing through strong guitars and delivering a superbly balanced medium-low backbeat. The drum becomes a force to be reckoned with when cranked almost all the way up. The Cherry Bomb is more accurate and controlled. The batter head only needs to be tickled to get a full response from the 9mm shell. It has a warmer tone and sounds terrific across a wide dynamic range, making it a little livelier than the Heartbreaker.
DW Collector’s Series Black Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum 6.5×14″ DRVB6514SVC
- Utilizing a thin industry-standard 1mm shell, and plated with sleek black nickel, the Collector's Series Black Nickel over Brass is a versatile and...
- Suitable for a variety of musical applications, it offers that sought-after "classic studio brass snare sound" for rock, jazz and beyond; offering...
This drum is best described as a year-round drum. It’s made to give you a strong, powerful sound that you can use all day if necessary. Its sound is produced by a 1mm brass shell with a black nickel coating. It’s vibrant and stands out in any blend.
This is a snare drum with a strong personality. Yes, it’s loud, but it also has a good body tone sensitivity that makes it perform nicely with brushes. It is popular among drummers who play in a variety of bands and orchestras since it can be played in a number of genres. If you’re looking for a crash, bang, wallop snare, this isn’t it, but if you want something with a little more volume and a little more flair and class, this is definitely worth checking out.
You can listen to some snare drums and determine which genre they will comfortably belong into. That cannot be said about this snare because of its adaptability, which allows it to be used in a wide range of musical styles and playing techniques. It’s a terrific pick for the studio since it’s bright and won’t be lost, but it’s also a forceful force on stage.
It was built with great care to ensure that high-quality materials were used. The tension rods, lugs, and three-position butt plate for snare tension are all nickel-plated stainless steel. The counter hoops are nickel-plated steel as well. It comes with a reasonable price tag for such a high-quality instrument.
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 8×7 Mounted Tom, Natural Wood
- All-Birch shells
- Absolute-style lug
- YESS Mounting system
The Japanese company is known for producing high-quality instruments at all price point, and the Stage Custom 14×5.5 snare drum is no exception .Birch construction of this snare drum, it has two distinct sound characteristics. The first is that it has a pleasant, warm sound to it that emanates from a high-quality product. The second point is that the resonance is excellent as well, with a deep tone that is backed up by a solid punch and terrific snap… That’s exactly what you’d expect from a wood snare drum.
This Yamaha snare drum is really well-made. It’s not one of the most costly snare drums on the market, but it’s built to be one of the best. The hardware is all of the highest quality, and the six-ply birch on the drum shell is fantastic. You can also choose from a variety of hues, all of which are attractive, though natural wood is perhaps the most appealing.
As we get through our list, Yamaha’s Stage Custom Birch snare drum will undoubtedly take some beating as the greatest snare. It’s simply excellent in every way, with no flaws. You could spend more money and get flashier looks and hardware, but if you’re looking for a wood shell, most drummers won’t need anything more than what this snare drum has to offer.
Mendini Student Snare Drum Set with Gig Bag
- 14-inch x 5.5-inch student snare drum
- 30-inch snare stand with 10 lugs (standard size as it is meant for adults or students to sit by.)
- Rubber practice pad to mute the drum's sound
If you’re just getting started on the drums, buying for a youngster (click for junior kits), or only require a single snare drum for busking or something similar, you’ll want to pay attention to this section because it may be the finest option. The Mendini by Cecilio Student is created for students and individuals on a restricted budget, as the name suggests.
It’s not only inexpensive for a snare drum, but it also comes with a stand and a case, and it essentially performs everything you need it to do. Unlike many other low-cost snare drums, this one won’t rattle or go out of tune after five minutes of use, and it has a respectable sound. We’re quite impressed.
Because of the low price, you won’t receive anything particularly showy, and the snare drum may require some setup by a professional to get the most out of it, but that’s true of several options in higher price groups as well. Sit down and customize this low-cost snare drum to your preferences; it’ll do you proud.
You can’t go wrong with this option if you’re on a budget or just want to practice on something other than your primary instrument. It’s well-built, sounds great, has no evident cost-cutting methods, and even comes with a stand. This is a fantastic snare drum for the money.
Ludwig LB417BT Black Beauty Brass on Brass 6.5 x 14 Inches Snare Drum
- Product Type: Percussion Instruments
- Package Dimensions: 43.942 L X 43.942 W X 21.59 H (Centimeters)
- Package Weight: 12.75 Pounds
The Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum is unquestionably one of the best snare drums ever created. It was first launched in 1919 and is now considered one of Ludwig’s most famous works. The modern version has all of the original’s tonal flavor, but with the added benefit of modern manufacturing procedures. A single sheet of 1.2mm brass is fashioned into a seamless, beaded shell for each Black Beauty.
Each drum features 2.3mm steel triple-flanged hoops, ten Ludwig Imperial lugs, a P85AC throw-off, as well as Ludwig Weather Master Medium Coated batter and clear resonant heads. The result is a well-rounded, metallic, and warm tone. Many of the world’s biggest drummers record with Black Beauties, even if they aren’t Ludwig endorsers, because they give tons of projection while being incredibly sensitive. Black Beauties are also fantastic gigging drums. At least once in their lives, every drummer should own a Black Beauty.
Pearl JJ1365 Joey Jordison Signature Slipknot 13 x 6.5 Inches Steel Snare Drum with Black Hardware
- Brand: Pearl
- Product Code: JJ1365
- SR-017 snare strainer provides ideal snare-to-head contact with minimal tension
This is the hallmark model of Joey Jordison, and it’s fantastic. For those unfamiliar, Jordison is the former drummer of nu metal giants Slipknot, as well as a performer who has shared the stage with Marilyn Manson and Korn. He’s consistently regarded as one of metal’s top drummers.
With a resume like that, you’d expect this to be a really aggressive snare drum, and you’d be correct. This is a loud steel snare that is built to be heard, and the rim shots are out of this world. It will be impossible to find anything better than Jordison’s distinctive snare drum if you play metal.
Of course, being a signature model, this is not a low-cost alternative. Only those who appreciate the aesthetic and provenance of this snare drum will be able to afford it, as it is at the top of our pricing range. It’s entirely black with matte paintwork, and it comes with or without the Slipknot emblem depending on the year of model you purchase.
This is a premium product for a relatively specialized set of drummers, so it won’t be for everyone, but fans of Jordison’s work will adore it. From the gorgeous look to the hardwearing, high-quality hardware, this snare drum has been designed with metal in mind. It has the potential to be the best metal snare.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best sounding Snare Drum?
Because there are so many various varieties of snare drums, determining which one sounds the best is incredibly challenging. In fact, in the next part, we’ll go through some of the most commonly requested music genres. However, there are a few universal characteristics that make one snare drum sound better than another.
The first is whether or not the snare drum is properly tuned. Now, this is something that can be accomplished on any snare drum, but you’ll find that the more experienced snare drums will do a much better job of remaining in tune. Better hardware (and heads) tend to stay in tune for longer and are less likely to distort under heavy use.
Improved hardware will also make it easier to get your snare drum to sound the way you want it to. So the bottom line is that you should try to buy the greatest hardware for your money. This will provide you all the freedom you require for the greatest possible snare drum sound. Furthermore, higher-quality materials will alter the snare drum’s sound. For example, some woods are less expensive and less sonorous than others. Some individuals believe that using a single piece of curved wood rather than laminated wood produces a better sound.
Finally, the quality of the construction is critical. Defects or poor design can have a negative impact on the snare drum’s sound. They can appear as bothersome rattles or ringing that aren’t supposed to be there, and tuning them out isn’t always easy.
How to tune a Snare Drum?
After a period, snare drums will naturally detune, and breaking in a new snare drum head takes some effort. It will need to be fine-tuned once it is. With this in mind, we’ll look at how to correctly tune a snare drum so that it sounds as good as it should. When the sound of your snare is no longer crisp and sounds ‘wet,’ you know it’s time to tune it. The sound can also be uneven at times; the same note should be heard at the same distance from the snare drum’s edge all the way around. So if you knock the head 3″ from the edge on one side, it sounds exactly the same on the other side.
It’s crucial to note at this point that, unlike many other instruments, the best snare drum isn’t necessarily the one that’s ‘ideally tuned’ or set correctly. This is because different persons playing different forms of music will aim to produce distinct sounds. Certain elements of the snare drum can be tightened or loosened to vary their features, but you want the right not to sound on the head and for it to be constant, which is what we’ll address.
The bottom head, often known as the resonant head, is the one that resonates and produces the iconic snare drum sound after the top head has been struck. The snare wires, which are the very thin wires that run over the snare drum head and give it its characteristic sound, must first be undone. These are usually fastened into place and can be readily unlocked. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to do this, most drum manufacturers include instructions on their websites for their unique mechanisms and the best method to use them. There’s a chance you’ll have an instruction manual as well.