Drums Anatomy – Understanding the Parts in a Drum Set

Drum kits are made of shells and cymbals. They also have metal hardware that holds everything together. These pieces combine to form a poly-percussion instrument that a single person can play. You’ll hear about or read about different types of Drum Kits when researching to purchase. Choosing the fitting drum kit is easy if you know the main parts.

Which kit is best for you? What is a 5-piece drum kit? By this guide’s end, you can choose or build a drum kit confidently.

Every standard drum kit has three essential parts: a kick drum, a snare, and a high hat. The different styles and sizes of kits will be discussed later.

Kick Drum

The Kick Drum has the lowest bass sound of all drums. It is also the largest. The kick drum can be played with your foot by pressing a pedal attached to the rim of the drum or the hoop. This strikes the batter’s head. The drum’s resonant (front) head may have a small hole, which can change the tone. The material of the shell affects how warm or bright the sound is. For example, wood models will sound warmer than metal or plastic versions. The kick drum is usually the giant drum of your set to produce the lowest pitches or “boom.” The most common sizes are 20″ or 22″.

Snare Drum

The Snare Drum is critical in the kit. The snare is the center of attention for this unit. Snare drums are available in many sizes, the most popular being 14″ in diameter by 6″ in depth. A wooden or metal snare drum uses a system of wires suspended below the resonant heads to create the classic “snap” sound. The wires are tightened by a throw-off, also known as a strainer. You can adjust the tension of the snares to change the sound. When you think of a Snare Drum, you may imagine a marching band or military drum. It is loud enough to cut the band through and assertive sufficient for the song to be directed by the rhythm.

Hi Hat

Hi, Hat is a pair of metal cymbals. They have a diameter of 14″ but can be made in other sizes. The cymbals are sandwiched together using a pedal. The wide variety of sounds they produce makes them the most dynamic part of a drum kit. You can play them closed to create staccato jabs or open them for orchestral crashes.

Standard drum kits usually include a few extra pieces to add sonic variety. Start with the most popular drum set, the 5-piece kit.

Five-piece Drum Kit

The word “piece” is only used to describe drums. It does not refer to cymbals or other hardware. 5-piece kits consist of five drums. You could use a dozen cymbals, and the number of “pieces” in your kit would not change.

We now know that the snare and kick drums are a kit’s most essential drums. There can also be two toms, called “tom-toms” or “tom one and two.” The smaller drums are called “tom-toms,” usually mounted on the kick drum. The floor tom, which has a lower pitch than the other two toms, completes the five-piece kit. The sizes of the tom shells can vary, but they are usually found on standard rock kits in diameters of 12″ or 13″.

Ride Cymbal

A ride Cymbal and hi-hats are an essential part of a drum set. The ride Cymbal is mounted on a metal stand and usually sits above the floor tom. The ride cymbal is the largest of the cymbals. It measures around 20″ in diameter. The ride is generally made of a copper-zinc alloy with a bell-shaped center that a drumstick can strike to produce a bright sound. You can also hit the edge for endless volume and sustain.

Crash Cymbal

Unlike the ride-cymbal, the crash-cymbal is designed to be smashed hard and used as accents and loud dramatic tension. The standard crash cymbals have a 16″ diameter. They are sized between hi-hats and ride cymbals. Drummers will place different-sized Cymbals around their kit to create a more varied sound.

Other Parts

Additions to your percussion kit will give you various musical styles. Add a Cowbell to your high Hat or attach a Tambourine for a garage, psychedelic, or Latin flavor. Electronic Drum Pads have become a staple of the modern drummer’s kit. You can find a variety of sounds and samples right behind your drum kit.

A drummer needs a throne as well. The drummer needs a stool or chair to use all four limbs. The drum throne is what the drummer’s seat or chair is called. A throne should be ergonomic, comfortable, and adjustable to the correct height. A quality drum stool is necessary for long practice sessions.

The fun is just beginning. This article will give you all the information you need to get started, whether you are looking for a starter drum kit or want to upgrade your current setup.


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