Playing the drums is a fun way to discover the world of percussion. Drums are good instruments to play because percussion gives the body to music. If a song is played without any percussion, the song sounds listless and frail. Being able to inject structure into a song can be done through the playing of the drums.
Aside from being entertaining, learning to play the drums improves hand and feet coordination. A drummer can be extra perceptive to sound and is able to develop a good sense of timing.
There is scientific research that indicates that drumming improves brain function because the user is able to effectively multi-task because of improved coordination skills.
Before getting involved and learning the skill of drum playing, the user must know what the basic parts of a drum set are. Knowing the various parts will lead to a better understanding of how the instrument should be played.
What are the parts of a drum?
There are various types of drums and most users might be mistaken to think that all drums are made the same. The way a drum is made and the materials used to produce it make a general difference in sound. There are other drum components that are not for beginners’ use. The basic parts of a drum are the bass, snare, and hi-hat.
The snare is the main drum. It is mounted on a stand and is positioned in between the drummer’s knees. This is the drum that produces a sharp and loud sound. The bass drum is the biggest drum of the set and produces the deepest sound.
The bass drum is operated by a foot pedal and is the drum that produces a throaty thump. The hi-hat is a set of two sets of cymbals that are placed at the left side of the snare. When the hi-hat is hit, it sets the general tempo of the beat, as in the beat produced in a metronome.
All drum sets will have these three basic drum parts. Other drums like the toms are mounted on the base by a tube and large screws. The floor tom is the big drum located at the right. The toms are used for a drum roll.
What is a tom?
The toms produce a hollow sound and they vary in pitch. A five-piece set will have two suspended toms and a floor tom. The hanging toms are those that are mounted on the bass while the floor tom is mounted on a stand. The floor tom is the largest of all toms.
More advanced drummers will add several more toms in the middle or the side to add more thump and theatrics to drum performances. Some drummers like to have more variation to the pitch of the tom and therefore more pieces are used.
What is a cymbal?
A cymbal is two metal plates that are supported by a stand. These pieces are located on the right of the drum set. The cymbals are additional units aside from the hi-hat. The crash cymbal is mounted above the toms and produces the loudest sound. The ride cymbal is larger and produces a gentle sound. The sound that it creates is called a wash.
In an orchestra, crash cymbals are used independently. They are two large metal discs that are smashed together by hand. There are classical pieces that require a gentler sound from the cymbals and are not necessarily used to produce a smashing sound.
For junior drum sets, the additional cymbals create the same sound and do not vary in size. The two cymbals are almost identical and do not necessarily produce a crash or a ride.
What is a throne?
The throne or the drummer’s seat is the adjustable stool that the drummer sits on. The throne’s legs and feet are made of metal and have wheels at the bottom. The throne is adjustable and its height can be increased or decreased according to the user’s reach.
It is not advisable to use a stool or a computer chair when playing the drums. Aside from being too tall, a computer chair is uncomfortable and will not facilitate free movement.