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The Best Snare Drums for Any Drummer

a set of drums with drumsticks resting on the snare drum
Milosz Aniol/Shutterstock.com

The snare drum is one of the essential pieces of a drum kit. Whether you’re creating a new set or upgrading your existing one, we’ve compiled some of the best snare drums you can get—regardless of experience or musical preference.

Snare drums produce that bright, snappy tone that’s immediately recognizable for many when heard in music. It’s arguably one of the most versatile pieces of equipment, as it can drive the beat forward, create filler notes, and more. It is important not to forego your snare’s quality, so check out these snares we recommend for you.

What to Look for in a Snare Drum

Here are some basics considerations to make before you purchase one:

  • Material: The material is one of the most important considerations to make when choosing a snare drum. Snare drums are made with various materials that can alter their tone, from metal and aluminum to various types of wood. Metal materials like brass and aluminum deliver a sharp sound, while wood materials like maple produce fuller, deeper tones. Listen to snares of different materials if you’re looking for a specific sound.
  • Dimensions: Larger drums with more depth have a sound that lingers longer than shallow drums, which produce that “crack” or “snap” noise that you may be familiar with.
  • Price Point: For snare drums, typically, the more expensive, the better. However, many affordable options produce the same high-end sound. Whether you’re looking for a premium upgrade or are looking for an economical option, you’ll surely find something suitable for you.

Best Value: Pearl Snare Drum, Matte Natural (MUS1455M224)

front-facing view of snare drum with maple shell.

Pearl’s Modern Utility snare drum delivers impressive performance and sound at a relatively affordable price point. The Modern Utility is designed with a 6-ply/5-mm Maple SST shell, one that delivers great resonance and tone thanks to Pearl’s technology. The snare is also equipped with CL Bridge lugs, 1.6-mm triple-flanged hoops, an SR700 strainer, and is finished with a matte lacquer. The Modern Utility serves as an affordable option that’s versatile to any drum kit setup, making it a great choice for many drummers looking for the most bang for their buck.

Best Value

Pearl Snare Drum, Matte Natural (MUS1455M224)

Professional sound at an affordable price.

Highest Quality: Ludwig Snare Drum, 14-inch (LM402)

front-facing view of snare drum with chrome-plated aluminum shell.

Ludwig’s Supraphonic LM402 is arguably one of the most highly-regarded snare drums to date, one that has produced a number of hit recordings and has been favored by drummers like John Bonham from the band Led Zeppelin. The 14-inch snare boasts a crisp, lively tone with its seamless chrome-plated aluminum shells. It blends the iconic crack of a snare with its high-end throaty resonance. The LM402 can certainly satisfy any drummer’s needs.

Highest Quality

Ludwig Snare Drum, 14-inch (LM402)

You'll enjoy full, exceptional sound from this high-quality snare drum.

Best for Band Students: ADM Student Snare Drum Set

snare drum with stand, tuning key, carrying case, neck strap, and muting pad.

If your young one is beginning to play percussion in a band, this snare is an affordable option that can serve your child well. ADM’s snare set includes everything your beginner needs to get started: a snare drum, snare stand, gig bag, neck strap, drumsticks, a drum key, and a muted pad for silent practice. You can play it sitting or standing with its adjustable neck strap. The snare itself is a 14-inch by 5.5-inch standard-size snare drum. It’s equipped with 10 lugs for more precise tuning and has a high-gloss finish.

Note: the stand may be on the short side for some.

Best for Band Students

ADM Student Snare Drum Set

This snare includes various accessories that are perfect for beginning players.

Best Practice Pad: Slint Practice Drum Pad Set

practice pad with stand, three pairs of drumsticks, three covers, and six drum gels.

Practice pads are a quiet and portable alternative to practice your drumming skills. Slint’s practice pad set is lightweight and offers easy assembly and cleanup. The set includes a double-sided practice pad—with one side featuring textured, high-density rubber padding for an authentic feel and the other side featuring soft rubber padding for less rebound. The set also includes a durable height- and width-adjustable stand, which can fit standard-sized snare drums. Along with three pairs of drumsticks and six drum gels, you’ll get an audiobook and e-book copy of the bestselling book Drumming for Beginners.

Best Practice Pad

Slint Practice Drum Pad Set

An adjustable and versatile practice tool that isn't loud.

Also Great: Ludwig 6.5×14 Black Magic Snare Drum

front-facing view of snare drum with black-nickel-over-brass shell.

Ludwig’s Black Magic snare delivers that classic sound you may be looking for. The Black Magic features a black-nickel-over-brass shell and matching die-cast hoops and tube lugs that create a crisp, vivacious attack. As the more economical iteration of Ludwig’s iconic Black Beauty, the Black Magic delivers an incredibly similar sound and feel, making this a great option for many drummers that are reluctant to invest a larger amount.

Also Great

Ludwig Black Magic Snare Drum - 6.5 Inches X 14 Inches

All-around high-end tone and resonance to enhance your drum kit.

Jonah Chin Jonah Chin
Jonah Chin is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy where he's able to openly share his thorough product considerations, critiques, and recommendations for you to benefit from. When he's away from the keyboard, he enjoys competing in sports like wrestling and playing instruments like the guitar. Read Full Bio »
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