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Drum Sets and Kits

A drum kit, which is also called a drum set, is a grouping of percussion instruments that’s designed for one player. Each instrument is positioned in an easy-to-reach spot using stands so that you can play each instrument with a set of drumsticks and one or more pedals. Drum kits come in a wide range of sizes and configurations to suit different players, sounds, and music styles.

What are some common types of drum kits?

Drum kits come in two major categories: acoustic and electronic.

  • Acoustic: An acoustic kit includes a collection of traditional drums, with wood or metal shells as well as traditional metal cymbals.
  • Electronic: Electronic kits use a series of pads that replicate traditional drum and cymbal sounds using a sound module. Unlike acoustic sets, the electronic pads deliver sound to a headset or a speaker.
What configurations are available?

Drum kits come in a huge variety of configurations, but many of the most commonly used styles fit into the standard, fusion, or double bass categories.

  • Standard: Standard sets usually include a 12-inch tom, a 13-inch tom, a 16-inch floor tom, and a 22-inch bass drum. These sets offer a loud volume and a spacious tone.
  • Fusion: A Fusion set uses slightly smaller drums, including 10-inch and 12-inch mounted toms, a 14-inch floor tom, and a 22-inch bass. Fusion kits create a more articulated sound and sharper hits.
  • Double Bass: Useful for rock and jazz music, these sets include two bass drums to allow you to play fast, strong rhythms.
What is typically included in a complete drum kit?

A typical five-piece drum kit usually includes a combination of bass, tom, or snare drums. A four-piece set usually includes a snare, bass drum, one mounted tom, and a floor tom; these kits are usually accessible for beginners. Other pieces include a hi-hat cymbal, crash cymbal, and a stool. A complete set also comes with hardware, including stands, rims, and pedals.

What is a shell pack?

A shell pack is a drum set that includes only the drums, rims, and tom mounts. It is useful choice if you already own stands and other hardware or if you want to get them separately.

What materials are drums made of?

As you choose a drum set, it’s important to consider the material. The type of wood makes a big impact on the tone of each percussion instrument.

  • Maple: This wood type creates a balanced, rich tone.
  • Birch: Birch creates a bright, loud tone that’s ideal for recording studios or loud venues.
  • Mahogany: This wood enhances the low range and features a vintage character.
How can you choose a drum kit?

With the wide variety of available drum kits, it can be difficult to find the right option. Use these guidelines to narrow the options and select the pack that suits your music style.

  • Select a style: Do you want acoustic or electronic?
  • Select a configuration: Fusion, standard, junior, double bass, and more are available.
  • Choose the number of drums: Sets come with three, four, five, or more drums.
  • Pick additional percussion instruments: Hi-hat cymbals and crash cymbals are some options.
  • Choose a wood: Common types include maple, birch, mahogany, poplar, lauan, basswood, and falkata.
  • Choose a brand: Manufacturers include Pearl, Yamaha Ludwig, and more.
  • Select a color: Options include black, red, blue, white, and wood grain.
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