How to Identify Parts of a Drum Set

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017
Identify Parts of a Drum Set

How to Identify Parts of a Drum Set. Let's face it, drums are cool. Almost everyone has hit a tambourine or maybe tapped on a drum set but knowing the difference between a tom-tom and a rotary-tom is not something a lay person would know, but don't worry. In a few steps you can identify the parts of a drum set.

Begin with a snare. Snare drum is the basic part of the drum set, which is included in almost every one. This will be the drum directly in front of you and is the one played most often.

Keep the beat. Base drums keep the beat and are the second most-used drum part. This drum is located on the floor and is played with a foot pedal, not the sticks.

Meet the toms. Toms are the set of drums that form a semi-circle around the snare drum and sit above the base. Toms are used for fills and there can be several different types. Tom-toms are placed in the front, to the side are floor-toms which are drums that reach all the way to the floor rather than sitting on a stand, and rotary toms are tiny drums that sit up high on a stand above the tom-toms.

Tap the hat. High-hat is played with a foot pedal and is made up of the two metal disks clasped together and sit at the left side of the snare drum. The sound is formed when the disks separate and crash back together again and is used for tempo.

Know your cymbals. Cymbals are those fun, shiny metal circles that novice players like to pretend to hit with dramatic flare. The splash cymbal is used in between the toms, the crash symbols do just what their name implies, make that "crash" sound. Cymbals sit on the very outside of the drums and sit higher than any other part.

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