Snare drum in black background, close-up, low lght, black and white

Parts of a drum set

1. The wooden parts

Bass drum tama

Bass drum

It is the biggest drum component in the set.

A basic drum set will contain only one.

If you want to play hard rock or metal beats, you are going to need one more bass drum or a double pedal.

For the beginner, one bass drum and one pedal will be more than enough.

Ludwig snare drum

Snare drum

With a cheaper drum set, you will get a snare drum; one of the most important drum components.

Snare drums have a completely different sound than the rest of the drum kit because of the snare wire on the bottom.

You can adjust it to get different sounds or simply experiment with different drum heads to get diverse sound.

Like a bass drum, some professional drummers use two snare drums, usually smaller, shallow or tuned lower or higher.

toms for drum set


In most cases, you will get 3 toms, but some jazz or rock drum sets contain only 2 toms, a high tom, and a rack tom.

Toms are mounted on a rack or a tom holder, like on an image.

Toms on an image are High toms or high and a Middle tom and the bigger ones are Floor or Rack toms.

2. Hardware

Drum equipment, in general, come in many sizes and shapes. The same thing goes for the hardware.

The basic hardware structure is made out of:

  • snare drum stand,
  • drum pedal (single)
  • hi-hat stand
  • two cymbal stands
  • drum throne

So, this you’re going to need with drums and cymbals.

Also, check out this Hardware Makeover video in order to get some ideas

3. Cymbals

sabian hhx evolution cymbal set

Beside drums (wood), cymbals are the most expensive part of drum equipments and the most important one. Let me tell you a bit more about the basic types of cymbals you need for a start, what their purpose is and how they sound.


The three basic cymbals you are going to get with a cymbal set are:

  • Ride cymbal – the biggest one
  • Crash cymbal – middle size
  • Hi-hat cymbals – two cymbals combined

Cymbal set sizes

  • Ride is usually 20″ or 22″
  • Crash goes from 14″ to 20″
  • Hi-hat is often either 13″ or 14″.

There are different sorts of effect cymbals like China, Splash, O-zone and many more. You can also find two cymbals combined together as a Stack


The larger the cymbal, the louder the sound, it is as simply as that. Ride and hi-hat are rhythm cymbals, and the others are used to accent some note or parts of the song. The purpose of the cymbal also depends on the music genre. Some cymbals are great for metal but not for jazz.

Nowadays we have a lot of cymbal sounds so, it is tough to classify them. Most drummers have expressions for a cymbals sound like:

  • Bright – high pitch
  • Dry – lower, not so clear
  • Dark – low pitch

Additional gear

Drum heads

In the world of drum heads, we also have many options, and I will name a few.

You can choose among:

  • clear heads with a brighter tone
  • coated heads with a more shorter tone
  • colored drum heads with a  short and clear tone.

You can choose from many options. Check out the drum head comparison in the video below.

Drum sticks

Here you definitely want to pay attention to your choice because, it will matter in the future. Whichever drum stick you choose, there is a huge possibility you will change them in the future. Experimenting with sticks is very common among drummers; it will, however, be tough to switch when you get used to one pair. 

Every drumstick has a printed mark which signifies the length of the stick and the thickness. Industry standards are 7a,5a,5b,3a… The higher the number the tinner the stick. Of course, that is not it, you can have sticks with plastic tips, all different size,shapes, colors, etc.

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