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What kind of hoop does my drum have?

I will take an educated guess and say that all drum hoops started with wood. Wood hoops are commonly found on marching snare drums and bass drums. It should be easy to determine if a drum has wood hoops so I will not go into any detail about them. There are also wood hoops with metal over the edges and are easy to distinguish if they are on a drum.

As time passed metal became the more popular material for drum hoops. I have seen drums form the later 1800's with metal hoops and more commonly in the early 1900's. The first hoops were basically straight metal bands.

Straight Hoop
The below diagram from the 1922 Ludwig catalog shows a straight hoop, the hoop "hooks" or claws with tube lugs. Here are two drums from the Slingerland 1940's catalog with straight hoops


My earliest catalog is 1907 and all of the drums have straight hoops in metal and or wood. Based on the Slingerland 1928 catalog the pictures do show hoops that are double flanged so the straight hoops probably did not last long at all and ended up being used on the lower level drums.

Pronunciation: 'flanj
Function: noun

1 : a rib or rim for strength, for guiding, or for attachment to another object <a flange on a pipe> <a flange on a wheel>

Single Flange Hoop
1950's Leedy/Ludwig Catalog showing a single and double flange hoop
Here are two snare drums from the 1940's Slingerland catalog with single flange hoops

The same hoop clips were used and in same cases the hoops had receivers welded to them so the clip was not necessary and the head would be tightened that way and probably stronger then the clips. There are a variety of variations on this hoop in regards to roundedness and thickness of the metal.

Eventually over time the process of being able to manipulate metal and the advancement of drum heads into plastic versions with metal counter hoops change the shape and design of metal hoops.

Double Flange Hoop
1950's Leedy/Ludwig Catalog showing a single and double flange hoop
1950 Leedy/Ludwig Snares

I'm guessing that Ludwig started using the Triple Flange some time between 1936 and 1938. It is not in the 1935 Ludwig catalog but the 1937 WFL catalog has a reference pictured below. I do not have the catalogs in between so I can't say exactly when it was introduced in a catalog. Prior to that they had the stright hoops, single flange and double flange.

1937 WFL catalog reference to a triple flange hoop


Triple Flange
1960 Catalog Parts List
1971 Snare Drums

Based on the catalogs I have seen the "Counter Hoop" started in the early 50's and is unique to Slingerland during that time period. You will see Japanese copy hoops with the inverted flange, but they should easily be differentiated by the quality and weight.

Slingerland began the transition from COB to COS hoops in 1970. In 1970 they started using steel. Of course they also had to use up old inventory and probably kept brass hoops in stock for special orders etc..

Slingerland Triple Flange Inverted
"Counter Hoop"
This is the 55 Slingerland catalog
1950's Snare Drums
1970's Catalog Hoop Information
1950's Catalog Hoop Information


Geo H Way Hoop Reference


Gretsch Hoops



Here is a technical page on drum heads and how they vibrate depending on where and how they are hit. I thought it was interesting when researching drum heads.

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