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What Are the Different Types of Drum Equipment?

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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2014
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Drums are percussion instruments found in nearly every kind of music, and there are many types of them. The percussive elements of a drum kit include bass and snare drums, cymbals, tom toms, and a hi-hat. All of these components typically need to be supported by a set of stands, clamps, and bars, while drum cases allow for everything to be moved from one place to another safely. Drum screens are often used to help control the sound for the drummer and for other musicians nearby.

The centerpiece of most drum sets is the bass drum. It is relatively large and is played using a foot pedal, another kind of drum equipment in the set. A snare drum is another element of most drum sets and is played with the hands. Crash cymbals are named for the sound they make to help emphasize the music; variations include the ride cymbal and the hi-hat, which adds a clap or clang sound to the beat. Tom toms are smaller drums that come in many sizes, but the largest is typically on the right side of the drum set.

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In addition to the percussion instruments themselves, drum equipment can also include racks to organize the setup. Drum racks sometimes allow for clamps, bars, stands, and cymbal arms to be added to the frame structure. There are various designs that depend on the kind of setup a drummer has. Some drum racks are even built with ergonomics in mind and include back support as well. Drummers that play often will generally experience less pain or injury after long sessions.

Acoustic panels help to prevent the percussion sound from entering the microphones of other instruments. These kinds of drum equipment usually help to make the sound from vocal microphones clearer as well. Other musicians on stage or in the studio can generally hear themselves better if there is some kind of buffer for the drum sound.

There are also many kinds of cases that are each suited for a particular kind of drum. Both hard and soft cases are sometimes available, depending on the kind of drum equipment. Features to look for can include comfortable handles and adequate reinforcement, so the drum equipment is protected during storage or when being moved from place to place. The variety of equipment for drum sets allows for different levels of complexity, and deciding on a limit is often based on how much one can afford.

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