Snare Drum

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Etymology and Alternative Spellings

Side Drum

Piccolo Cassa

Kleine Trommel

Caisse Claire


Tambour Militaire

Piccolo Snare - aka:Pancake,

Field Drum

Military Drum


The snare drum shell is constructed from 1 of 3 materials.

1. Metal: Steel, Aluminum, Brass

2. Wood: Maple, Rosewood, Birch

3. Synthetic Material: Carbon-fiber,

The more common dimensions range from 13" to 15" in diameter and from 4" to 8" in depth.

The heads are either synthetic material or calfskin.

The bottom, or snare head, is generally thinner than the top, or batter head.

In addition, the snare head has stretched across it a number of snares that rattle against the membrane when the drum is struck. These snares are generally composed of wire, cable, or catgut.


Piccolo Snare Drum

Orchestral Snare Drum

Field Drum

Also called a Military Drum

Marching Snare Drum


The origin of the snare drum can be traced back about 250 years to the tabor and side drum. The uses of these drums at an earlier time were used for military purposes. It wasn't until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that the side drum was incorporated into opera orchestras in order to portray military scenes. During the middle and latter part of the nineteenth century, the drum eventually made its way from the pit of the opera to the concert stage.

Sticks, Mallets, Beaters

Cooperman Drumsticks

Innovative Percussion

Promark Drumsticks

Regal Tip Drumsticks

Vic Firth Drumsticks




Matched Grip

Traditional Grip

Stroke Style/Type

Full/Down-Up Stroke

Down Stroke

Up Stroke



Black Swamp Percussion

Clevelander Drum

Grover Pro Percussion





See Also