Playing rock requires energy. There are not many music genres where the energy of band members is as important. You want to sound powerful, with just enough looseness to get the crowd to feel the flow.
Much of this energy is packed in the snare drum. In fact, many rock bands rely heavily on their snare sound for their songs to be recognizable.
Bear in mind that picking a great snare drum is highly dependent on the snappiness and loudness of the sound. You want to emphasize your beats and cut through the swathe of distorted guitars, and that all starts with a quality snare.
The best snare drum for rock is the Eastrock 14×5.5. This model packs a strong punch ideal for rock music, with enough warmth and timbre while staying easy to control. It is also durable and beginner-friendly for newbies who might bash their drum kit a bit too hard, all while maintaining an excellent price-quality ratio.
In this roundup, we’ll go over 7 of the very best snare drums for rock:
Eastrock 14×5.5 Snare Drum (Best Overall)
TAMA SLP Maple Snare Drum (Richest Sound)
Griffin Poplar Snare Drum 14×5 (Best for Heavy Music)
Ludwig Accent CS Steel 14×5 Snare Drum (Best for Grunge and Punk Vibe)
TAMA's SLP Studio Maple snare drum is one of the best balanced affordable snare drums on the market. Part of TAMA's Sound Lab Project (SLP), the SLP Studio Maple snare drum was designed to give hard-working drummers a great all-around maple snare drum at a price anyone can afford.
It adds more stability when the drum is tuned on the lower end and adds a little more overtones overall.
The snare switch is highly reliable and arguably one of the best on the market in its category. It makes life easier when loosening, muting, or tightening the snares without locking up or getting stuck.
Overall, this is a great and reliable snare drum that can bring a beginner to a professional and still stay with them. The snare drum can be used as the main or a side snare for an added blast.
Three-ply 7.5mm poplar
8 tuning lugs
State of the art throw-off
Punchy, snappy, and cracky sound
Great for rock/metal crossovers
Classic rock sound
More adjustable tuning lugs
Not that many overtones
Tuning can be set off easily
Not of top quality
4. Ludwig Accent CS Steel Snare Drum (Best for Grunge and Punk Vibe)
Having been one of the most popular snare brands to be used by players of all levels, the Ludwig Steel Snare Drum quickly became the choice of pro players in need of a snappy, resonant snare with high-frequency overtones.
The Lexington SD403S steel Snare Drum is constructed with durable chrome and nickel. Precise craftsmanship ensures correct tension when the lugs and rods are fully set up. It delivers a clear, powerful, and punchy sound with an aggressive attack.
The Lexington has a very tight batter head that doesn’t need a lot of force to produce an aggressive and loud sound.
Used often by students and beginners, it doesn’t have to stay in the closet for semi and full professionals. If you are looking for some school vibes in your bend, Lexington is a great drum to be on the lookout for.
The snare head is also very tight with its 12-strand steel snares that give off a bright and punchy sound.
Many drummers consider it the best snare head for a rock, especially as the secondary snare is used for choruses and places they want to emphasize.
This is also one of the quality steel snare drums, made of rolled steel with a thickness of 1.2mm.
It’s specific because it has ten lugs instead of the regular six. More lugs allow the drummer to experiment with various sounds and tuning, and the drum is made so that it still works great when tuned to higher frequencies.
Rolled steel 1.2mm shell
10 tuning lugs
Quality batter head
Great snare head
Heavy duty throw-off
Durable and longlasting
Blasting and aggressive timbre
Tight and responsive attack
No internal muffler
Loud and specific when it comes to gig setups
6. DW PDP Wax Maple Snare Drum (Best for Beginners)
The PDP Black Wax Snare Drums feature a matte black finish over a 10-ply maple shell. The smooth finish is a hand-applied wax-based sealer which gives this collection a deceivingly understated look. The 10-ply design gives the shell a voice with an articulate attack, while the maple pulls it together to offer the warm, full sound and volume expected from a 14x6.5 snare.
The perfect add-on to any drum kit, the Gretsch Blackhawk snare drum is built to the classic Gretsch spec with a 30º bearing edge, poplar shell with jet black wrap, and a 12.7 mm mount for easy setup as a side snare.