parts of a drum set

Parts Of A Drum Set You Should Be Familiar With

Main Parts

Knowing the details of parts of a drum set can really set you a good foundation of understanding the musical instrument. A drum is a general term for percussion instruments collections that are arranged in a certain manner so all of those items can be played by a single person. There is such a thing as five-piece or the six-piece kit. Piece here refers to drums only – cymbals and extra hardware aren’t included.

The most popular drum set is the five-piece. It is compact and yet it is able to deliver good and smooth tonal diversity. Because of the compact nature, it is easily moved around and about.

In five-piece set, the main parts consist of 10 pieces of:

  • HighTom
  • Medium Tom
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Bass Drum
  • Hi-hats
  • Snare Drum
  • Bass Pedal
  • Stool
  • Floor Tom

Some of the parts will be discussed further next.
parts of a drum set and their functions

Snare Drum

It is basically a shallow drum sitting between the drummer’s legs while they are playing. is responsible for producing an array of tone. It is also responsible for forming the center of the entire setup. It has an outer cover (called by the shell) made from wood or metal.

It also has two sides: the batter side is the part you hit with a stick while the resonant head is the skin under it. Below the head, you should be able to see suspended (snare) wires set. The snare drum is usually beat on 2 and 4 within the 4/4 timing.

Bass Drum

Also known as the kick drum, this is the biggest drum within the set producing the booming lowest pitch. The general size has the diameter of 22 inches with 16 inches of depth. But you can always buy the bigger or smaller types. The material of the shell would affect the note produced. For instance, wooden shell would produce warm sound when compared to the plastic one.


It is the two cymbals (metal) that are sandwiched on the stand. It would produce high pitch and tiny sound. This one is pretty flexible too in terms that drummers can strike them by using the drum sticks or they can use the foot pedal.


They have similar appearance to the bass drum but smaller. They are responsible for producing deeper sound with longer resonance. They add the fills between different sections or tempo changes within a song.

Ride Cymbal

It is located above the floor tom, placed on a metal stand. It is usually located on the right side of the drum set. This one is the biggest one among all cymbals. Drummers play it within the same manner of the hit-hats, minus the foot pedal.

Crash Cymbal

With a diameter of 16 inches, the cymbal sits between the hi-hat and ride. It is used to create bright and loud sound,along with long notes production. Professional drummers may have several more crash with different sizes that would enhance the fills (of the song).