How to Change the Drum Heads on an Alesis

Written by barry index
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How to Change the Drum Heads on an Alesis
Alesis drum pads use genuine drumheads for the acoustic feel of real drums. (Drum play image by Nenad Djedovic from

Alesis electronic drum pads use actual 8-inch and 10-inch drumheads. The feel of the pads is very close to real acoustic drums. Since the heads are removable, you can take them off and replace them with any drumhead you prefer to further customise the level of sound and acoustic feel.

Drum pads on the Alesis use the same adjustable tension rods found on acoustic drums; the 8-inch pad uses four adjustable lugs while the 10-inch uses six adjustable lugs. All that's needed to change the drumheads is a standard drum key. The procedure is the same for all Alesis pads.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Drum key
  • Drumhead

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  1. 1

    Place the drum key on one of the lug nuts of the 10-inch snare drum pad. Twist the key counterclockwise to loosen and remove the tension rod. Tension rods are long screws that fit through the metal drum hoop that secures the drumhead. Start with any one of the six lug nuts. Loosen and remove the other five tension rods.

  2. 2

    Remove the drum hoop from the pad. The drum hoop has a rubber sleeve around it than can be taken away for more authentic sounding rimshots and side stick playing.

  3. 3

    Take off the old drumhead. Replace it with a new 10-inch drumhead. You can use any model and any brand of drumhead to achieve the feel you expect from your acoustic snare.

  4. 4

    Position the head so the edge of the drumhead does not sit at an angle on the drum pad. Replace the metal hoop over the drumhead. Line up the tension rods with the lugs on the side of the pad. Screw in the rods so they are finger tight.

  5. 5

    Tighten the tension rods beginning with the one closest to you. Twist the drum key three times. Move the key to the tension rod opposite the one you started with. Tighten with three key twists. Move to the rod on the right of the first one, then the opposing rod. Tighten the tension rod to the left of the first one and finish with the opposing rod, tightening each rod with three key twists.

Tips and warnings

  • There's no need to tune the pads like normal acoustic drums because the electronic drum module produces the sounds, not the pads.
  • Drummers use a rimshot to achieve a very loud drum sound, almost like a gunshot. Side stick is another technique that produces a click sound, almost resembling a woodblock, used quite a bit in jazz and Latin drum styles.
  • Some drummers use a clear coat head with a smooth surface while others prefer the traditional rough surface typically found on snare drums.

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