Drum skins (also known as drumheads) are rarely made of animal skin, despite the word "skin" in the name. Drum skins for drum kits are nearly exclusively made of synthetic material. Plastic skins are more durable, less expensive, and more uniform than animal skins. Also, musicians don't usually eat their instruments.
However, there are several types of drums that are played with their skin intact, including: calfskin drums; goat-skinned drums; and wooden drums.
Calfskin and goat-skinned drums are used in traditional African music, while wooden drums are common in South America and Asia. None of these instruments are actually made out of skin, but rather they are covered in a thin layer of hair or leather to produce a loud sound when struck.
In modern times, plastic drums are commonly used by rock bands. The advantage is that you can easily clean them off if you get dirt or sweat on them. But also worth mentioning is that some musicians choose to paint their plastic drums different colors or design them with decals so they look like their natural counterparts.
There are also hybrid drums that contain parts made from both plastic and metal. For example, a plastic shell with a metal hoop inside it will resonate when hit with a stick, just like a real drum. Other examples include: brass shells with aluminum or zinc hoops; and stainless steel shells with iron or copper hoops.
However, they cannot be tanned like animal skins so they must be dyed or painted to match the color of the kit.
Synthetic skins are manufactured from sheets of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane that are coated on one side with rubber. The skin is then stretched over a wooden frame that has small holes drilled into it to allow air to circulate under the skin when it is being played. The skin is held in place by small metal clips attached to the frame.
When you hit a drum skin, your hand contacts the surface through a layer of paint or dye. This gives the skin a certain sound when struck.
The type of paint used to coat the skin's surface affects how much force is required to make contact with the skin and therefore changes the way it sounds when played. For example, if you play drums with your hands, you will want to choose skins that are lightly scuffed up to allow for better contact with the head. Skins with deep grooves may not provide enough contact area for proper hand placement.
You may have heard them referred to as drum skins, but we've gone a long way since calf skins were used on early drum sets. Drum heads are now constructed of plastic (typically mylar, polyester, or a combination of the two) with an exterior metal collar that fits snugly on the drum. The skin is held in place by wooden sticks that hit it lightly at first and then come off of it.
Snare drums are simply large drum shells designed for use with a bass drum. They are played with the hands rather than a stick, and often have a hollow center section for more volume. Snare drums are used in many types of music including rock, pop, R&B, funk, hip hop, and jazz.
The shell of the snare drum is usually made of wood, although some metal drums are available. Snare drums are tuned to produce a higher pitch when beaten rapidly, which makes them useful for adding excitement to a song.
Like all drums, the sound produced by a snare drum is due to the vibration of its shell. The size of the drum affects how much vibration it can sustain, so bigger drums are able to produce louder sounds. Vibration is transmitted into the air through the skin, which is pulled tight against the shell by a tension rod attached to a spring. When a stick is brought down on the drumhead, it contacts the head at only one point.
Rawhide skins from animals Traditional drum heads, such as the djembe, conga, and bongo heads, have traditionally been constructed from animal rawhide skins. These have served their purpose admirably for many years and are still used on many manufacturing barrels. When utilizing animal rawhide skin drumheads, there are a few major downsides. First of all, they are expensive. A single drumhead can cost up to $100 or more. Secondly, they will only last so long before they need to be replaced. Finally, many musicians find them to be too loud.
Synthetic drum skins In recent years, there has been a move toward using synthetic drum skins instead. These drums are much less expensive than their traditional counterparts and last far longer. Modern drummers often choose between foam and plastic for their drum skins. Foam drumming pads are soft and flexible, while plastic ones are hard and durable. Either one can be used with bongos.
The choice of material that makes up your bongo skin is important because you don't want anything too hard or sharp that could damage your drumstick handspans. Also, make sure that it's not too thick; this would make playing difficult.
Bongo skins should be bought in small quantities; this is necessary because there are so many different sizes and shapes of bones within the body. If you buy enough skins to cover one drum, then you'll have no trouble finding matching pairs.