Before tacking, make sure to wipe the pencil line off with a damp clean cloth. Take the first tack and position it so that the shaft is perpendicular to the drum and give it two gentle taps so that it will hold itself in place. We pound it in with several hammering hits. Check the tack to make sure that the way you are hitting does not cause the center of the head to break away. We use the leather covering on the mallet to protect the tack heads from damage. For the second row of tacks, we use a little template as a guide. This is a plastic circle the same diameter as the tack head with a pin hole in the center. Place this below two tacks on the first line and when positioned in the center, press into the skin with a bulletin board type tack to make a mark for drilling. This is a simple way to line up this row and it makes for a very nice looking tack pattern overall.