A drum set, as its name indicates it, is a set of percussion instruments gathered to compose a complete set. Before the invention of the drum set, it was necessary to have one player per instrument: cymbals, bass drum, snare drum... You can still see this type of formation in brass bands or in some classical music orchestras. So there are the main drums that make up the drum set to which will be added the different types of cymbals (crash, ride, china...) and hi-hat (also called chraleston pedal, 2 cymbals horizontally operated one against the other using the foot)
The bass drum
The largest drum in the ensemble, the one that emits the most powerful sound. The bass drum is played with the foot, via a bass drum pedal that activates a bat that hits the drumhead. The most common sizes are 20" or 22" bass drums. But there are also bass drums with diameters of 16, 18 and 24 or 26 inches... For the depth, the great classic lies in the 14 inches for a 20 inch bass drum and 16 inches in the 22 inch diameters, but this is not a rule. Vintage bass drums like ours are often offered in 20x14 but also in 22x14 or even 24x14. Some musicians will prefer even deeper sizes for even more powerful and longer resonances.
The snare drum
The most used drum in the kit, because it is the most played instrument in combination with the bass drum and the hi-hat. Its most common diameter is 14 inches, but there are other models, ranging from 10 to 16 inches (very rare)... The snare drum gets its name from the clearer and more metallic sound it emits thanks to its timbre placed on its resonant drumhead. Formerly made of gut as on traditional drums, the timbres are now made of copper or brass for the most part, with numbers of strands that differ according to the manufacturers and the drummers' preferences. In depth, the most common demands are for 5.5", 6", or 6.5", which offer great versatility in style and play.
Toms can be divided into 2 categories:
- the toms racks (or tom tom), the suspended toms those which are fixed on a bass drum stem or on a snare drum stand or a suspension system type 'ring' which will come to be fixed on a cymbal stand
- the Bass Toms or Floortom, those that are placed on the floor
Globally, many diameters exist, from 6 to 18 inches. The most common are the high toms of 8 or 10 inches, the medium toms of 12 or 13 inches, the floor toms of 14 inches and 16 inches. The depths vary according to fashion, years and manufacturers: 10x8, 12x8, 13x9, 14x14, 16x16 are the most common sizes today.