If you have to ask if head needs replacingit usually does. Make
sure tuning rods have washers.
There is no rule I've found to determine when to
change headsafter years of playing I can often
tell when a head is going, and when I have to get ready to change a head.
It depends on how
hard, often and long they are played. If you play them consistently like
for a few hours every week,
I'd say change them every month or so. Unless you play lightly & have
perfect technique. I once
heard someone say retuning may make a head age quickerbut you have
to retune whenever
playing has stretched it a little. Or if you play in a different room
sometimes and the drums sound
different. Or when it detunes from playing. You can't think 'I won't retune
my drums because it
may affect head life'sound is more importantretune
when they need
tuning. Having the head too loose will reduce it's life more.
When in doubtchange the heads,
if the drums sound the same with the
new heads as they did with the old ones, save the old head for emergency
use. Usually you'll notice a big improvementwhich
will let you know to
chuck the old head. I have seen jazz players who hit very lightly, and
aren't bashing away on tons of fills, so I can see a head lasting a while.
Plusjazz players tend to hit properly, putting less stress on the
Just as proper technique reduces stick breakage,
it lengthens head life.
So change heads when needed ! ! ! And learn to hold the sticks properly.