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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Pop! Goes the music - Drums

What are the parts that make up a drum set?
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - March 3, 2011
By: Goh Mei Yi
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Pop! Goes the music - Drums

If you’re not into classical music, you can learn to play instruments used in pop or rock bands, like the drums, electric guitar, bass guitar or saxophone.

A full-size drum set can be a four- or five-piece kit. The digit denotes the number of drums in the set. In a four-piece kit, you will find a bass drum, one snare drum, one floor tom and a rack tom. The five-piece kit has an additional rack tom. Each set can have a variety of cymbals.

A drummer holds different sticks, brushes and mallets in his hands to strike the individual parts of the drum set. He uses his legs to operate a foot pedal on the bass drum and the hi-hat cymbals.

Here’s a description of the various parts of a drum kit:

Bass drum: This is the biggest drum. It sits on the floor. It produces the deepest tone of all the drums and is played using a foot pedal.

Snare drum: This is the small standalone drum that sits between the drummer’s legs. It has metal wires underneath called snares which give the drum its distinctive buzzing sound.

Tom toms: The toms come in different sizes and are arranged according to size in a semi-circle.  The smaller toms are attached to the top of the bass drum, with the smaller one on the left. The floor tom is the second-largest drum, and stands on its own. It is placed to the right of the bass drum.

Hi-hat: The hi-hat comprises the two cymbals joined together on a rod with a foot pedal attached. It can be found to the left of the snare drum. You can play it with the foot pedal and/or the drum sticks.

A basic drum set has two cymbals – the crash and the ride. Both come in different sizes, materials, weight and thickness, but the ride cymbal is always bigger in diameter than the crash cymbal. There may also be splash cymbals, which are the smallest in size.


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