A drum set is a beautiful instrument that leads the band’s playing tempo. A drummer with impeccable timing skills can maintain the right rhythm of the song no matter what drums are in a drum set. Whatever type of music you play or listen to, it is always the percussionist who regulates the beat.
Don’t you want to be just like that? Don’t you want to be the one with that unmatched wit to tell if the song is going too fast or too slow? Perhaps we are asking too much, but we know you are here for a couple of reasons: You want to try out if a drum set is for you and find out if you could rock it. These are not at all impossible! But before you do, let’s take a closer look at the components of a drum set first.
What Drums Are In A Drum Set?
The basic drum set starts with three pieces of drums, a hi-hat, and one suspended cymbal. Well, we know this is too basic and won’t compare to the kits you see your favorite artists play with. But for starters, the three-piece set can be easier to study and play with as well.
The bass drum, otherwise called the kick drum, is the largest drum you will see in a set. It is mounted on the floor vertically and sits in front of the player. A mallet is attached to a pedal that is fitted at the bottom of the bass drum. When the player steps on the pedal, the mallet hits the drums and plays a low sounding thump.
Bass drums are available in different diameters and depths. The 20-inch diameter with a depth of about 14-16 inches is the most common size that can cover most music. Larger diameters of up to 28 inches are commercially available but not usually preferred. They are commonly used in other types of music land orchestra playing.
The snare drum is the central part of every set. It produces a distinct staccato sound that is mostly present throughout the songs. The stiff wires attached to the bottom skin of the snare, called snare, gives this drum its unique rolling sound. You may have seen snare drums in a marching band played in perfect unison and perfect timing.
The most common size of a snare drum is 14 x 5 inches. This is the usual size that comes with commercial drum sets. They are often positioned in front of the artist, between the legs. Deeper snares have more wet and bassy sound. Smaller-diameter snares have a sharper and crisper tune which is preferred on hip-hop music. Advanced sets may include 10- or 12-inch auxiliary snare drums.
Probably, this drum is named after the sound it produces. They are commonly called toms in drummer-lingo and have varying sizes. The basic three-piece set has one hanging tom mounted at the top of the bass drum. Other modern models have the toms attached to other hardware stands instead to preserve the sound of the bass drum.
Commercial drum kits often come with a 12-inch-diameter tom that is 8 inches deep. These are versatile toms and are suitable for most types of music. This drum has no snare fitted at the bottom skin and gives a fuller and rounder sound. They are often heard on drum fills as the music builds up and drum solos. A typical four-piece set has two hanging toms.
The smallest tom has a diameter of 6 inches and can be as huge as 20 inches. Extended kits have multiple toms lined up in front and above the bass drum. Special mounting hardware may be required when adding three or more toms.
As the name suggests, this tom is not mounted on the drum set. It is fitted with three feet that can be adjusted. The height of the floor tom can be adjusted to match the height and preference of the drummer. The angle can also be adjusted for precision. Floor toms have a low-pitched thump that adds more depth to the music.
Floor toms usually measure 18 inches in diameter and 14-16 inches deep. Their low-thumps, along with the thud of the bass drum, build music quite well.
A hi-hat, obviously, is not a drum but is an integral part of the basic drum set. That is why it is worth mentioning in this post. A hi-hat is an indispensable partner of your snare drum. It is a sandwich of two cymbals operated by a foot pedal. The hi-hat can be played open, with the pedal released, or closed, with the pedal pressed. It produces a static chime-y sound almost like a clicking sound when played with the pedal pressed. When open, it has a sharp shimmering sound that lingers.
Hi-hats are usually available in 12-14 inches. Some modern variations may include a larger bottom cymbal and a smaller top cymbal. The unorthodox pair unlocks other range of sound frequency. You may also see some vented top cymbals, the ones with holes on top. Auxiliary hi-hats can be found on some complicated setups.
Playing the Drums
The basic inclusions of the modern entry-level drum set include all of the pieces mentioned above. Rarely, they also come with one cymbal.
If you are a beginner, this basic set might take a while before you need a few auxiliary attachments. And although your favorite drummer makes it seem easy to play the drums, beginners may find it challenging. It takes hours of intentional practice and mindful study. So before you dream of building a complicated drum set with varying tom sizes, cymbals, bells, chimes, tambourine, and other effects, mastering playing the basic is a must!
On a lighter note, now that you know what drums are in a drum set, you are one step closer to becoming one of the greatest drummers of your time! The next step is to find the type of drum set that suits your playing style. Remember, you will probably be using your first kit for a long while. Your effort and time to look into the various types before you go ahead and purchase one will pay off in the long run.