Drum Heads: Celebrating The Sound Of The ’70s

In a way, a “definitive” ’70s drum sound remains a mystery. If any era saw change in recording techniques, it was the 1970s. Everything from Black Sabbath sludge to Steely Dan perfectionism to disco minimalism could all come to mind. So for this article, I will concentrate on the famous “cardboard box” drum sound of the early to mid ’70s. Just put on your glam head and think Sweet’s “Little Willy.” PREPPING THE TIME MACHINE Just in case you don’t have a vintage ’70s kit set up and ready to go, here is how to put some glitter vibe in your modern kit: • Remove the resonant heads from the kick and toms. This is the front head on the kick and the bottom head on the toms. • Loosen the snare head. We are looking for more of a thud, rather than a modern, snappy snare. • Tune down the rest of the drums. The ’70s was a looser decade. Tighter drum sounds came with the anxietyplagued ’80s. • Drummers
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