First off, review the seating process. Place the head on the drum and tighten tuning rods to finger tight, in opposite pairs.
7 simple steps to tuning your bass drum | MusicRadar
Then stand in the centre to really stretch the head out. Once you've done this, go back and check that all the rods are still finger tight. With a new head, you will almost certainly find that one or two have loosened a little. If you do have a hole in your front head, then the standing and stretching might be a little foolish! If the hole is off-centre, leaning on the skin while pressing in the centre with your hands will suffice.
If you have the hole in the centre which you shouldn't have , then you will have to forego this part. Ideally you should tune the batter head first, with the resonant head off the drum unless tuning mid-gig, of course. Again, start finger tight and turn all the rods in turn you'll need to press the centre with the palm of the hand on drums this large , until you've removed all the wrinkles.
Tension progressively ie a little at a time on each trip around the drum - half-turns with the key at a time should do it , and don't try to crank each rod. At this point, this level of tension for a batter head can prove to be enough for many players, but if you want a more bouncy feel, take the head up half a turn up on each rod. Now tap gently around the head about 2"-3" in from the edge and check that the pitch is even all the way round. Don't get overcritical with this, just make sure there aren't any obvious differences and adjust where necessary.
If you do insist on dampening the bass drum, this is the time to do it. A small rolled-up towel placed toward the front resonant head , will generally suffice. It can sometimes be useful to dampen both heads, particularly for close mic'ing, so depending on the heads you've chosen it may be helpful to add a similar sized towel to the batter head. Attach the towel to the inside of the drum not the head itself so that the towel will rest against the front head once you've put it on, and then put on the front head.
If possible, repeat the seating procedure used on the batter head and return to finger tight. Press in the centre, as before, and remove the wrinkles. Now, this is where it gets really interesting - the resonant head on a bass drum is the key head when it comes to a great bass drum sound.
Turn your bass drum over into the playing position, engage spurs and attach your favourite bass drum pedal. At this point we haven't actually done any tuning as such, we've just removed the wrinkles and evened out the pitch on the heads. Tuning a bass drum so that it sounds how you want it to out front can be difficult.
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Many of us will have tried the 'get the bass player to play the drum as I stand out front' routine, but what if no one is about? Lie down on the floor with one foot on the bass pedal facing the front skin. Play a slow and steady pulse with your foot and start working on the front head to dial in the sound you want. This approach means the bass drum will be struck differently when you're playing, but at least you get a chance to hear the pitch, tone and general resonance of the drum for yourself.
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