Drum Kits

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The Drum Kit


The drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments played by "the drummer". More recently drum kits have also included electronic drums but there are no "standard" sizes for drums and drum kits.

A standard modern kit contains, as a minimum:
  • Snare drum
  • Bass drum
  • Hi-hat cymbals
  • One tom
  • One more cymbal
  • Throne (seat)
Many drummers will add other percussion instruments to this basic kit.

The drum kit may be loosely divided into four parts:
  • The breakables e.g. items that a "guest drummer" may provide and use when sharing a drum kit at a gig with multiple bands. e.g. sticks, snare drum, cymbals
  • The shells e.g. bass drum and toms
  • Extensions e.g. all the other "add on" percussion instruments 
  • Hardware e.g. Cymbal stands, drum stands, pedals, drum key, drum racks etc
The size of the drum kit is usually measured by the number of drums included in the kit e.g. a 3 piece set would include; a snare drum, a bass drum and a floor tom. 

Drum music is most commonly written on a standard five-line staff using a percussion clef. Previously bass clef was used, however even if the bass or no clef is used each line and space on the staff is assigned an instrument of the kit.