The term skin is now commonly used and derives as can be deduced from the animal derivation of long ago. Today these membranes, at least as far as batteries are concerned, are made of synthetic material (usually Mylar) produced with one or more layers and when struck, it vibrates and thus produces sound.

First, we make the distinction according to where they are positioned.


Beating leather: It is the skin on which the blow is physically performed, and is generally more resistant. It is placed in the front part and tuned according to the needs of the drummer.

Resonant skins: This is instead the skin that is housed in the back of the drum, or in any case in the part opposite to the hinged one. The purpose of this membrane is to make the drum resonate, after the blow given to the casement. Not being created to be struck, it is made differently from the leaf and consists of a single layer of material. Of course, everyone is free to do what they want according to their tastes and even if it is not usual, you can put single-layer doors as resonant, to obtain a different effect.

In the resonant skin of the bass drum, it is often used to drill one or more holes (about 5-6 cm in diameter), to facilitate the microphone recording and dampen the harmonics a bit. This hole is often made a little laterally and not in the center to avoid removing all the overtones.

“In the ’70s often the resonant was not used,

to have more volume and make it easier to take pictures with the microphone “

Watching some footage from the 70s it is not uncommon to see drummers who did not mount resonant or even batteries that did not even include the housing of these skins. This was done because in this way the response of the drum is more impulsive even if all the resonance of the shaft and the beauty of the sound of the wood is lost. This setup was mainly used live, to insert the microphone into the drum. Today with current technology there is no longer a need to adopt these devices and amplifying an acoustic instrument is no longer a problem.

We make some distinctions and see the main types of skins on the market.